Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Teeter Totter

Up... and down... and up... and down.

Seems to be the story of my life, lately! I have a strong belief that things always work out the way that they are supposed to, and that it doesn't pay to struggle against what's happening to you... why waste that energy. To quote a song from my high school days (does this date me?!), "Fuck it or fight it, it's all the same..." Or maybe another generation: "Go with the flow, man..." (followed by a haze of some decidedly dubious smoke). Whatever works.

Just after my last post, I made a call back to the clinic where an old co-worker (and nurse-midwife alumni of my school) is employed as a CNM/women's health nurse practitioner. I had already called once and left a message for her on the nurse-triage line - always an iffy way to leave a message - but hadn't gotten a response. When I was able to get through to her this time, she seemed excited to talk with me and we planned to work out all the nuts and bolts of working out a student/preceptor partnership together. Though she isn't doing births (yet) in her role, she is doing OB visits and postpartum rounds, and hopes to be doing births in the future... and (bonus!) may be needing a partner before long. "And of course I thought of you right away!" she said.

(Up starts the swing of the see-saw....)

The next day, I get an email from the new midwife... finally! She apologizes for the length of time between our messages, and explains about the changes that have been happening at their facility. I don't care --- it sounds like the ball is finally rolling. Suddenly, I have not one, but two preceptors on the horizon. I may graduate soon after all! Huge sigh of relief, new fantasies of "life after school", and more worries of comps, boards, and practice... but mostly, glee.

(And so, the top of the teeter-totter...)

This week, emails from the various credentialling offices at the clinic and hospital where my clinical experiences will be held. Forms, forms, forms; lots of blank spaces, spots to fill in, and dates to ponder. Worries about what happens if I don't complete my hours by the end of this term, and spill into next term - what about financial aid?

And then - an email from the facility where my new midwife catches her babies. The medical executive committee there has determined that "provider students present in the hospital are limited to observing patient care activities". Emphasis theirs.

(Huge, tailbone-shattering return to the rock-hard ground. Teeter-totter down.)

How will I complete the births that I need by "observing" patient care activities? That is the complete opposite of what a midwife does; she touches, she sways with, she assesses, she massages, she gently coaxes.... and she catches. Yes, some observing may be observed... but it is so very, very not the essence of the work she does with women.

I'm so hoping that this is just the mumbo-jumbo wording of this policy, that exceptions can be and will be made, and that the big fat policy that caused me to fall so quickly back down will work with me instead, seesawing me back upwards.


  1. Hang tight and keep plugging away! It's hospital politics at it's best.

  2. The subject and content were just great. I think that your insight is deep, its just well thought out and really interesting.