Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Nurse Education

This past week I attended several education classes for my new job.
Two were designed to familiarize me with a couple of the computer systems used throughout the hospital.
I have to say, the hospital I will be working at is not techonoligcally advanced in the least, as far as computer tech goes anyway.
There are several computer systems, with many over lapping elements, and the charting is pretty all over the place. The majority of charting is still "paper" charting, with a goal of moving to fully computerized charting within the next several years. But there are several elements that need to be charted via the computer and in the paper chart. Plus, all prescription orders are still done via paper, which leaves a huge margin for error. And guess whose responsible for clarifying the order, making sure it's appropriate for the patient, asking the Dr. to change it if necessary, administering it to the patient (or not), and being responsible for it all????
   No, not the Dr.... The Nurse of course!!!
 This is one of the most anxiety provoking elements of nursing for me, the drug administration. The chances of harming a patient are so large. Medication errors happen all of the time, especially when hand written orders are used! I am confidant I can be a safe clinician, and I know my heightened awareness will benefit me, but I am also not naive enough to believe I will never make a mistake, and that scares the beejeebees out of me!

Anyway, the other two days of my week were spent in Perinatal Nursing classes. Much of the information was familiar to me, thanks to my doula background and my lust for learning.
What interested me the most were the attitudes and perspectives of the other nurses taking the classes and the presenters themselves.These classes are designed for nurses who are new to labor and delivery/OB. Many of my classmates have been nurses in other areas, only a couple of us are new, new nurses.
The presenters are all experienced OB nurses. One of them especially peaked my interest. She is especially interested in High Risk Labor and Delivery and started her lecture the first day by saying something to the effect of,
                         "Now I know you'll all hear that birth is a normal, natural thing, and it is, but I'm here to tell 
                          you that at any moment anything can go wrong!"

Now remember, most of those taking the classes do not have much, if any, experience with birth or laboring women... way to scare everybody! And what a bias to place on birth.
  So I listened to the rest of her lecture that day understanding she may be coming from a particulary biased perspective.
  Then, on the second day, she lectured on intrapartum nursing, and demonstrated ways to support women through labor. She advocated for keeping women out of the bed as much as possible, suggesting admitting laboring women "into the rocking chair, rather than into the bed".  She discussed the importance of staying with the laboring woman rather than watching the monitors from the nursing station.   What an interesting combination of perspectives this woman is turning out to have!
I have several more classes to attend with her and am interested to see what and how she presents next. I am beginning to admire and respect her and believe she will be a great assest to me as I move forward in my nursing career.


  1. Do you reveal your background to the other nurses at all? How do they take it?

  2. RedSpiral,
    Thanks for asking. During the class I introduced myself as a new grad who has been a practicing doula for nearly 9 years. I have not had the opportunity to interact with the nurses I will be working with at on the Family Birth Center unit so I don't know how they will react as individuals.
    Over all the hospital I am at seems pretty supportive of doulas and I think they've had mostly good experiences with them. But I'm sure there will be individuals who have had poor experiences with doulas.
    My classmates didn't have much to say about it. They all seemed pretty surprised at the things I've had experience with, eg. hypnobirthing, sterile saline injections for back labor, etc.