The area of women's health is broad and diverse, spanning from the miracle of life to the devastation of female diseases. With the U.S. female population consistently outnumbering the male population, the opportunities for nurses in this field are only increasing.
When it comes to women's health, nurses specialize in female reproductive health in the areas of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Nurses in Gynecology/Obstetrics, known as OB-GYN nurses, provide care and support for women beginning from their first menstrual cycle to their last, entering menopause. OB-GYN nurses assist doctors with the recording of patients' medical and sexual histories, labor and delivery procedures, and medical procedures. They can either assist with or independently conduct physical examinations like Pap smears, breast exams, and pelvic exams. These types of nurses help treat women who have reproductive problems, such as hormone level deficiency, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and anovulation. They also deal with diseases effecting females like endometriosis, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancers affecting the reproductive system, such as ovarian, cervical, and breast.
OB-GYN nurses must have excellent communication skills, as they educate patients about sexual health from contraception to sexually transmitted diseases and infections. They must also be honest and trustworthy since they discuss intensely personal information with patients, as well as be sensitive and compassionate, since they work with patients who are going through miscarriages or having hysterectomies. OB-GYN nurses work in a diverse work environment that deals with the challenges of reproductive disorders to the rewards of pregnancy. They can work in doctor's offices, medical clinics, hospitals, and labor and delivery departments. OB-GYN Nurses can further specialize in areas like Perinatal Nursing or Labor and Delivery Nursing. Perinatal nurses specialize in pregnancy and childbirth issues, helping women get ready for childbirth, educating them on what they should expect, and offering general health advice. Labor and delivery nurses care for women who are either in labor, are experiencing complications, or have recently delivered.
With the increasing awareness of issues related to women's health and the variety of concentrations within it, the demand of nurses in the areas of Gynecology and Obstetrics is growing. If you are interested in working in women's health, you need to earn your Bachelor of Science degree in nursing or a related field, become a registered nurse, and obtain experience working within the areas of in gynecology and obstetrics. OB-GYN nursing programs are widely available and certifications can be earned through organizations like the National Certification for the Obstetric, Gynecology and Neonatal Nursing.