THOUGHTS BEFORE MY FIRST L&D SHIFT

  1. We have this thing called clinical bound week every semester before placements start. This one was only five days long, but it was fairly tiring. I learned about Fetal Health Surveillance (external fetal monitoring, interpreting tracings) and it was super useful and interesting.
  2. We also had a workshop with two OBs who came in and ran scenarios with us, where we would have to consult/transfer care of our clients. It was also really useful, and went well. I learned a lot.
  3. This semester is when we have our interdisciplinary placements. So I have four weeks on an L&D (labor and delivery) unit with a nurse preceptor, then two weeks in the NICU, and then I'm going to Yellowknife (Northwest Territories) for two weeks for my OB placement, and then a month in Fort Smith for a placement with a midwife.
  4. I'm starting my first of two 12-hour night shifts in a row tonight, at 7 pm.
  5. I'm so nervous. I'm really good at midwifery stuff, but this will be the first time I've been responsible for things like IVs, and managing oxytocin and epidurals.
  6. I bought Dansko shoes, and I'm worried my feet are going to be killing me by 7 am tomorrow because I haven't broken them in.
  7. I bought compression socks.
  8. I don't know what to bring because I don't think I'll have a locker.
  9. I've only practiced IVs on three live people ever, and they weren't in labour.
  10. I'm so worried about being bad at this.
  11. This thing that I love doing, and when it's in my element, I'm good at it.
  12. I wasn't sure how long I might have to eat, so I'm bringing larabars and carbs, and tea and water.
  13. I've done all night births before, but it's a different skill set, and a different type of work, to be on an L&D ward.
  14. I'm going to learn SO much. And I'm so so excited to learn from nurses and doctors.
  15. I'm so scared I'm going to get grilled about whether midwifery is safe.
  16. The hospital I'm going to isn't really known for being midwifery friendly.
  17. I'm so scared I'm going to see women treated badly, having things done to them without consent, and it's going to be so triggering for me.
    I've been told that some of the OBs at this particular hospital are not known for listening well, are very interventionist. A friend of mine used to be an L&D nurse there.
  18. I know that the nurses will be incredibly kind and capable and I will learn so much.
  19. I know that all health care providers do what they feel is in a patient's best interest.
  20. I will learn a lot.
  21. I'm so scared.
  22. I'll see you all on the other side!