Upon leaving ODS and reporting to my first duty station, I spent 6 weeks hopping around the hospital, spending a day or 2 on each unit. Typically (unless there is an intense need or you have previous nursing experience), you start working 9 months in MCIN (mother/child/infant nursing aka postpartum and labor & delivery), and then 9 months MSW (multi-service ward/medical-surgical nursing). After that you get to make a "wish list" or a "Here's what billets are open, you can choose from these list."
I'm currently 3 months down on my MCIN rotation. I've been working on a postpartum unit, which I must say, despite being absolutely bored there during nursing school, I like it. I feel like I'm losing all sense of skills, except helping with breastfeeding, handling newborns, soothing babies, feeling fundus-es (fundi? fundes's?), and looking at bleeding vaginas all day, but I love all the people I work with and it's nice to be able to work on my own and not have a preceptor on my back. I'm trying to remind myself it's my resume builder in case when my service is up I decided to get out of the Navy, I'll be diversified in my nursing experience. I hope to get to cross-train soon in labor & delivery or the nursery we have for babies who need a little bit of monitoring.
Other lovely things I get to do as a postpartum nurse:
Yesterday I spent almost 2 hours throughout the day what every man dreams of doing... playing with a woman's double-D's. Sleepy babies + breastfeeding difficulties = you gotta do what you gotta do... like milking another woman.
Dealing with foul language... if there's one thing about my military patients, it's the lack of censor when it comes to cursing. But if you let the F-bomb drop, I will call you out in front of your family and friends.
I literally put my face inches away from bloody vaginas multiple times a day and don't even think twice about it anymore.
I fish clots out of the toilet with nothing on but a little latex glove.
I deal with new moms with an average age of 21. Makes me feel like I'm behind schedule in the military community.
But I also get to bring the baby in for the C-section mom and hand the baby off for her to hold for the first time. I love being part of that experience and it never gets old.
Becoming a Navy nurse has been the best decision I've made for myself.