Obstetrics and Gynecology nursing has been portrayed as a nursing field full of sweet smelling babies and happy parents. That is a misconception. It may be true that the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology nursing deal with babies and new parents, but it also has another side.
Obstetrics and Gynecology nurses often find themselves caring for women suffering from reproductive diseases – like cancers of the reproductive system. Some of them deal with women suffering from chronic ovarian pain, sterility, etc.
Despite not being just a field full of curly haired miracles, it is still a well respected nursing specialty. Plus, like any nursing field, it is very fulfilling and heartwarming.
What is OB/GYN nursing?
Obstetrics and Gynecology nursing is a field of nursing where the practitioners deal with the reproductive health of women. Care starts at birth, a latency period ensues and care resumes again just before the onset of the first menstrual period. Care then continues through the reproductive years and well into the menopausal stages. Obstetrics and Gynecology nurses also deal with childbearing and childbirth.
Roles of Obstetrics/ Gynecology Nurses
The Obstetrics and Gynecology nurse has a lot of roles to fill. She can act as a direct caregiver, caring for women and their immediate needs. The nurse may also work as an educator helping women to learn more about their bodies and how to take care of themselves properly.
Obstetrics and Gynecology nurses also work as counselors for patients and their families. They may also become part of a woman’s support group. Their responsibilities also include making sure that a woman is comfortable during, before and after childbirth.
OB/GYN nurses may also work in oncology wards taking care of women suffering from breast and reproductive organ cancers. The OB/GYN nurse may also find herself taking care of women suffering from STDs.
An OB/GYN nurse educator may take on the role of educating her co-workers on advances in the Obstetrics and Gynecology field. This role is usually reserved for OB/GYN Advance Practice Nurses. Obstetrics and Gynecology APNs may also work as Nurse Researchers.
Sub Specialties of Obstetrics and Gynecology Nursing
There are two subspecialties of OB/GYN nurses and they are Perinatal Nursing and Labor and Deliver Nursing.
PERINATAL NURSING – Perinatal nursing is a nursing specialty considered as a subset of Obstetrics and Gynecology nursing. In this field, the nurse cares for the women and their significant others before childbirth, during childbirth and after childbirth. These nurses have several important roles. They are also referred to as Obstetrics Nurses.
LABOR AND DELIVERY NURSING – Labor and Delivery Nursing is a nursing field involving care for women in labor and those women who have recently delivered. These nurses are often found in labor and delivery rooms. They also work with both doctors and midwives to help create a plan of care for both mother and baby. Labor and Delivery Nurses may also become Nurse Midwives.
There are a lot of work opportunities for Obstetrics and Gynecology nurses here and abroad. OB/GYN nurses may choose to work in hospitals or they could work in birthing clinics. Those who choose to work in the hospital setting may be assigned in Obstetrics and Gynecology units. They may also work in special areas like the emergency room and the OR.