The obstetrics nurses (OB nurses) are those who serve for women during their pregnancy and childbirth. They are popularly known as perinatal nurses and play a crucial role in case of the continued growth of civilization.
Nursing professionals in the field of obstetrics are the nursing experts who work for the patients who are attempting to conceive a child, are currently pregnant, or are recently delivered.
They help provide prenatal care and testing, care of patients suffering from pregnancy complications, care during labor and delivery, and post-delivery care of patients. They work closely with the physicians, obstetricians, nurse midwives, and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and nurse practitioners. They also supervise over patient care technicians or nursing assistants and surgical technologists too.
Obstetrical nurses can work in a variety of environments such as medical offices, prenatal clinics, labor & delivery units, antepartum units, postpartum units, operation theaters, and also in clinical research facilities. If you are looking forward to working with and for the pregnant women and their newborn’s post-delivery, then this arena of obstetrics nursing is the right one for you to try for.
Job Responsibilities of Obstetrics Nurse
Obstetrics nurses are responsible for assisting doctors in the complete care of pregnant women and the delivery of babies. They have to work in the labor and delivery departments in hospitals, nursing homes, health clinics, or doctors’ offices.
They practice nursing as part of a team of caregivers. They need to possess excellent listening abilities to take directions well. The ability to handle critical situations, tension, and detailing of every situation are the desired qualities for becoming an OB nurse.
Like all other health care professionals such as CNAs, LPN, etc., good interpersonal skills and communication ability matter a lot for successful OB nurses. Some of the job duties of obstetrics nurses are delivery room preparation, patients prepping, instrument and equipment sterilization and prepping, providing with immediate care to newborns, etc.
OB nurses come across various exciting experiences, as all the pregnancies do not turn out to be perfect ones. Sometimes, there is a critical condition that demands vital attention and action by the OB nurses. Counseling pregnant women about all the health issues and how to be attentive about their own problems; and ensuring that the respective patients have understood how to take care during pregnancy as well as after delivering the baby are also part of the responsibilities of obstetrics nurses.
Educating the women about their pregnancy stages and what must be expected at which stage is a vital task of obstetrics nursing professionals. Probable signs of complications and potential complications after that must be told to the women so that they would be able to deal with the situation or see a doctor immediately.
Recommending a diet plan for the prevention of complications is also an important duty of OB nurses. Many of them develop a special diet chart manager for each of the patients for whom they serve.
All these tasks require a strong desire to work for pregnant women and their newborns, compassion, and dedication towards work. If these qualities are present already, then special training for becoming an OB nurse indeed prepares one to work successfully as an obstetrics nursing professional.
Obstetrical nurses offer postoperative care services on a surgical unit, stress test evaluations, cardiac monitoring, vascular monitoring, and health assessments of pregnant women. They must possess talent and skills that involve electronic monitoring of the fatal conditions, generic medication, non-stress tests, etc., and management by a constant intravenous drip.
Providing emotional support to new mothers and fathers of babies is one of the primary tasks of OB nurses immediately after the birth of babies. When a woman is in labor, she is first attended by an obstetrics nurse who administers pain medication or else refers to other ways to manage the labor pains.
During this time, the nurse also monitors the labor progress and calls the physician for that is the time for the birth. For most child labor without any complications, the physician does not come into the picture until it is time to deliver the baby.
At this point in time, the nurse hands over the responsibilities regarding delivery to the physician but stays there to assist.
Being a registered nurse (RN) is the criteria for becoming an obstetrics nurse. How to get the registered nurses’ title is solely upon the candidate. Some chose to take education and registration through completing a 4-year bachelor’s degree in nursing education (BSN),.
In contrast, others prefer to take an associate degree of 2 years first and then to continue further education from online facilities. Either way, selected, one has to have specialized training in obstetrics and obtain an obstetrics specialization certificate.
This certification then enables one to continue the nursing practice in an obstetrics department. NCLEX exam determines whether the respective candidate would get the registered nurse position or not.
Obtaining Obstetrics Nurse Certification
The National Certification Corporation (NCC) offers the inpatient obstetrics nurse certificate to the potential candidates; provided that –
- The candidate must have an RN license (current and active)
- The candidate must have worked in an obstetrics department for 24 months (minimum of 2000 hours)
- Working in research, administration or patient care or even an educational experience submitted would be considered as the professional working experience
In some states, obstetrics nurses are those who provide care for female patients right from the stage of puberty to their menopause. They are also responsible for teaching women, and teenage girls, about all the physical and sexual health care aspects along with treatments from birth control to mammograms. In short, OB nurses get to work with and for the new life.