Working in the Delivery Room: Career Options in ObstetricsMay 15, 2014
If you love babies and want to assist in guiding them into the world, there are many career options available to you. Whether you are a pre-medical student or pre-health student, the delivery room is a busy place where dedicated healthcare professionals can make a tremendous difference in the lives of patients. Here are several career choices you can consider if you want to help in the delivery and care of our littlest patients.
If you are ready for the long haul of medical school and board certification, then becoming an obstetrician might be an excellent career choice for you. You’ll develop a close relationship with mothers-to-be who will depend on you when their big day arrives. An obstetrician takes the leading role in managing and ultimately delivering a baby in a hospital setting. Your schedule might be hectic and unpredictable, but obstetricians are among the highest compensated and most respected of all the physician specialties.
This is another important role in the delivery of babies. The path to becoming an anesthesiologist is similar to that of the obstetrician. You must attend medical school and become board certified to practice anesthesiology. You are responsible for keeping the pain and discomfort of labor to a minimum for moms-to-be who opt out of natural childbirth. This includes giving epidurals and spinals to patients who request them and assisting in the delivery of other medications that ease pain during the birth process.
If you want to work with high-risk pregnancies and at-risk newborns, a career as a neonatologist might be right for you. Often, problem pregnancies are identified ahead of time, so your presence in the labor room can be scheduled ahead of time. Like any other medical specialty, you must go to medical school and become board certified. Your reward for this difficult work is caring for our most fragile patients.
Nurses are crucial in the delivery room, supporting moms and their family members during this highly stressful time. If you want to pursue a career as a labor nurse, you’ll undertake a standard nursing training program leading to a BSN and then specialize in labor and delivery. Because labor can be a long process for expecting mothers, you’ll have extended interactions with patients and their families. You’ll assist in obtaining blood work from the mother-to-be; you’ll monitor the progress of the labor and keep the obstetrician abreast of any developments or changes to the status of both mother and baby. You may or may not be present for the births of all the babies you monitor, as the length of labor is unpredictable, and nurse shifts change on a predictable schedule.
In this role, you’ll provide technical assistance during the delivery. You’ll be responsible for setting up the equipment that might be needed during the birthing process and then assisting the obstetrician with handling this equipment during delivery. You’ll never know who your patients might be ahead of delivery, but your critical role will help expecting mothers have a smoother birth.
These are but a few of the available roles for aspiring medical professionals who want to work in the delivery room. The best one for you is the one you feel most passionate about! Working in the delivery room is one of the most important jobs you can have, so get ready to make a difference!
Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.