Monday, November 10, 2008
Welcome to my World
I've just come off a 24 hour weekend doing clinicals at a local hospital. I really enjoy this part of the work. I had 5 students on both Saturday and Sunday for 12 hours each. I placed them in NICU, mother/baby, newborn nursery, and of course the much coveted labor and delivery. One student went to the cafeteria for a break and missed her patient giving birth! (bummer) Her patient dilated from 5-10 and pushed baby out in about 15 minutes. Oh well, that's what you get with a Gravida 5. There was a forceps delivery which opened a discussion during noon conference about forceps, vacuums, and cesareans. It's such a delicate balance to try to open the students eyes about birth in an environment that is very one-sided in it's approach. Our de-briefing at the end of the day during post-conference is the best part of the day. I encourage the students to have lively debates with me and with one another about what they see and experience on the unit. It can challenge their beliefs to the core and the resulting conversations are quite stimulating. While the use of forceps dominated on day two, the other day saw two moms on the unit test positive for cocaine. For those students the hot topic was social issues in pregnancy. One student could simply NOT imagine why any woman would forgo prenatal care. We had a very spirited discussion about delayed or no prenatal care, and why some healthcare clients make such a choice or how their choices might be limited. We discussed the role of the nurse as a part of an interdisciplinary team. There is the birthing client in the center and her family, then comes nurses, physicians, pediatricians, anethesiologists, clerks and admistrators, social workers (sometimes), dietary services, nurse practitioners, lactation consultants, all manner of specialists (if problems arise) clergy, and technologists and in a teaching institution, lots and lots of students of every kind. Speaking of which, we discussed the role of the student and trials and tribulations of walking the tightrope that is the student role. This is a fascinating opportunity for me to view the world (of birth) through the eyes of students, some whom bring only their own experiences of birth, and others that don't even have that. I love the challenge of drawing them into my world and seeing them become excited about it, or angry about it, or curious about it, or even dismayed about it. And somewhere in the middle of all that emoting, and digesting, and experiencing, and debating, and perceiving... learning somehow occurs.