Specialty Nurse: High Risk OB RN

Specialty Nurse: High Risk OB RN

Patricia Pitts
Patricia C Pitts, RNC -OB / CNM

The Gypsy Nurse could not be successful without the support and contributions of it’s readers. Today’s Specialty Spotlight is from reader and Specialty Nurse Patricia C Pitts, RNC -OB / CNM who works as a High Risk OB RN.




Job Title: High Risk OB RN

List your education/certifications:

Where do you work:

Currently assigned 30 miles out to sea on Nantucket Island. MA. Nantucket Cottage Hospital. Considered a Critical Access facility it is part of the Partners Hospital Network with affiliations to Mass General & Brigham & Womem’s Hospital . A very High tech 17 bed facility, departments include but not limited to OB, ED, MS/Tele & Dialysis . Because of its location & distance from the mainland, this is not the place for the new grad or the inexperienced !

How long have you worked this Specialty?

Expert Greater than 5 years

How/Why did you get involved? Was there someone/something that inspired you to choose this specialty?

That came out of my love of Midwifery & the great experiences I had . I love to teach & precept new nurses to the field.

What do you do in a typical day?

Since I have been working nights for about 20 yrs, my typical day consists of what the rest of the world do at night. …..Sleep ! That being said, my night at work consists of taking care of pregnant , patients in various stages of labor, delivery & post partum care. Interpretation of Fetal Heartrate Tracings with accuracy & knowing what needs to be done for any abnormalities is constant . Being in frequent contact with the Primary Caer Physician is a must. In addition to mom, there is the new born assessment & care. There is also the care of the family unit as a whole. Our hospital focuses on Family Centered Care & is Baby Friendly .

What frustrates you about your job?

OB is a Specialty. My frustration on some assignments over the years happen when some Management Team members with no experience in a specialty say a nurse is a nurse, is a nurse…..Really ? I stick to my specialty & do it with pride. No ED nurse wants me to be taking care of their GSW…….that’s their specialty !!I We will help each other out when called upon to do so.

What about your job makes you proud to be a nurse? Is there a specific situation that stands out to you as a gratifying moment?

The most gratifying part of my job is when my patient after being in labor for hours remembers my Name & says Thank You !

Do you feel you receive adequate support for your responsibilities?

Yes I do!

“Never be to proud to ask a junior nurse a question, you may learn something new ! I got all my technology skills from my young nurses…. They are really good at it!” – Patricia C Pitts, RNC -OB / CNM

What (if anything) do you get called about on your off-hours?

Don’t have that happen too often, but when it does, it’s because my co workers are drowning at work & need help.

What is something a nurse who does not work in your particular field might find surprising about your job?

Nurses in other areas will be surprise to know we don’t get to ‘play ‘ with the babies & L&D is not always a happy place !

Does your position involve teamwork, or is it more of an individual job?

Teamwork all the way ! Although there is a Primary Care Nurse , once the patient gets into active labor , it becomes 1:1 care. You now become very dependent on your co workers to have your back in the event of a sudden change in your patient’s condition eg. an emergency c- section or a neonatal emergency.

Did you position require any extra training besides on-the-job training that you were required to complete?

Being trained as a CMM, I learned OB from a Midwifery standpoint which is a lot more detailed than what you would get being trained by an OB Nurse in a preceptorship. That training has been a great asset to me in my career.

One of the biggest complaints given by hospital unit-based nurses is that they rarely have time to eat or go to the bathroom. Do you find that to be the case with your job as well?

You have to get really creative with breaks. Eating on the run is very common most days! So on days when it’s not crazy busy & we can eat or even have a treat like ordering out …..it’s like a vacation !

What is your definition of “poop hitting the fan?”

When all is breaking loose, no empty labor rooms, a stat c-section just got called in rm 2, postpartum hemorrhage in rm 6 & a patient just walks in, broke her bag of water in the hall with meconeum & wants to push !

Are there travel opportunities in your specialty?

Oh yes ! It comes in cycles , but L&D is hot right now ! You can pretty much write your own ticket !

Is there any specific advice you would give a nurse pursuing your specialty?

Try to get into a hospital that has a high volume combined with a great preceptor program.

TheGypsyNurse is always interested in learning about new Specialties. If you work a Specialty that hasn’t been covered, please contribute by filling out the submission form HERE.

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