A Day in the Life of a Labor & Delivery Nurse

Hi, I'm Amy Hood! I have been a Labor and Delivery nurse for the last 5 1/2 years. I am passionate about providing my patients the best birth experience possible and feel privileged and honored to be a part of that birth experience. It is such an incredible life changing event in peoples lives, and I often still get tears in my eyes. The immediate love that parents have for their newborn is a beautiful event to witness.
Amy Hood, RN

Here's a day in my life!

7:00 AM
My shift starts at 7:00 am. I never know what my assignment will be before arriving at work, which is part of the excitement of being a labor and delivery nurse. Every day is a new day and a little different from the last. I could have an induction, C-section, spontaneous labor, postpartum couplets or occasionally a fetal demise that will always have a special place in my heart.
10:00 AM
This particular day I am assigned to a labor patient who has been through a very long induction process. A few hours after starting my shift, the decision is made to go back to the operating room for a C-section. This means a lot of quick preparation to get the patient back to the OR (operating room) in a timely manner, while still providing comfort and reassurance to the patient and her partner, since this is the last thing they had envisioned in their birth story.
11:00 AM
After the C-section we head back to the patient’s room for the recovery process. I am thankful to have my NICU nurse in the room with me to focus on baby and breastfeeding while I focus on mom. This gives me time to be very thorough with the mom’s care.
12:00 PM
After the recovery hour, I assume care of both mom and baby. Throughout the day, we focus on breastfeeding, temperature stability, encouraging skin to skin, mom’s pain control, monitoring mom’s vital signs and later in the day getting her up and out of bed for the first time. Each step of the way I am explaining what I am doing and teaching these new parents about caring for their newborn and about what to expect in the postpartum period. One of my favorite parts of being a labor and delivery nurse is the connections I make with patients, getting to know them and being there when they need it most.
5:00 PM
Toward the end of the day I finally get to chat with my coworkers and catch up on what’s going on in their lives. I am so fortunate to love the work I do and be able to do it with amazing coworkers by my side. Working in labor and deliver takes an entire team, and I really have an incredible team.
A team of labor and delivery nurses
7:00 PM
At 7:00 pm the night shift nurses have arrived and they are ready to take over. I give report to a fellow nurse that helped labor this amazingly strong mom the previous night, and she is happy to be resuming care of this patient. Before going home for the night I pop into my patient's room to say goodnight and let them know I look forward to seeing them tomorrow.
This delivery is one that will stick out in my memory for a long time. It was such an emotional and physical rollercoaster for this mom and her partner, and they handled it with such incredible strength and resiliency. Their support for one another was inspiring.
 * Many details were intentionally excluded from the events of this day as to protect the confidentiality of the patient.

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