Having a baby can be a frightening, stressful and painful experience. It is important for women to have supportive, well-trained nurses to assist in the delivery and ensure it goes as smoothly as possible, both medically and emotionally. These nurses help pregnant women stick to their birth plans. Job opportunities for registered nurses should continue to be widely available, especially for nurses who specialise in a particular field, such as labour and delivery.
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To work as a labour and delivery nurse, applicants must be registered nurses with a bachelor's degree in nursing, during which time experience working in maternity wards is mandatory. Further specialised training is available. Labor and delivery nurses must be trained in neonatal resuscitation tactics. Continuing education is required for labour and delivery nurses to stay on top of the latest techniques in prenatal care and delivery.
Nurses who work in labour and delivery should thrive under pressure. They should have positive, caring attitudes and be supportive. They must be physically capable of standing for extended periods. They also must know how to read fetal monitors and assess the status of both the pregnant woman and the baby. Labor and delivery nurses must have excellent verbal communication skills.
Labor and delivery room nurses must care for pregnant women before, during and after labour. They administer IV lines and monitor the blood flow of both the mother and the baby throughout the labour. They must assist doctors in caring for women who experience childbirth complications and may also assist surgeons in delivering babies through a caesarean section. Labor and delivery nurses teach new mothers breastfeeding techniques. They also educate new mothers about childcare and help them cope with postpartum depression.
In 2008, registered nurses earned an average of £40,592, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries vary based on location and experience. Full-time nurses are eligible for medical benefits and retirement packages.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment for registered nurses to grow by 22 per cent between 2008 and 2018. Labor and delivery nurses have the experience required to take the next step in medicine by becoming an obstetrician. Others transition to working in neonatal intensive care units, while still others become certified nurse midwives.
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