Breathe Easy, You've Found Me ((HUGS))

People will wonder why this blog is needed, why minority midwifery student? It's very simple actually; I was looking for this blog...but I couldn't find I created it. We all have unique experiences, and every experience, every story, can help someone else. I am a black girl from the hood at an ivy league professional school. That, alone, is reason enough to write. Somebody was looking for this blog. Someone wanted proof that what I'm doing can be done - even when you come from where we come from.

To that person especially, WELCOME.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Getting Back into the Groove of Things

This will be my last semester of classes in midwifery school!

And it's the lightest load we've ever had. When I look at my schedule, I am in awe. I only have three classes and by some miracle they're all on the same day! I'm expecting for someone to say "oops, we saw how incredibly wonderful your schedule looked for this semester, and realized we forgot to tell you about a class..." on the first day of school. The rest of the week will be dedicated to clinical rotations (both antepartum and intrapartum) and working on my thesis. Of course I'll go into detail about these courses and the schedule when school actually starts. In the meantime, I had a ridiculous amount of fun shopping for school supplies and a new bag!

A lot happened over the few months that I didn't blog regularly:

[::] I became an RN! That's right, I took the NCLEX on May 20th and found out I passed 2 days later. It was monumental in terms of reaching a major checkpoint in this path of becoming a midwife and finally getting some closure for at least the first half of all the work I've done. Otherwise... I don't know. I didn't run out and get an RN job... and I feel no desire to do so even now, 3 months later. Most of the people around me have gotten jobs though and I feel like an outcast for not being the least bit interested. But in my defense, most people are doing it to make money, not for the love of nursing. I found another way to make money that's much more in line with who I am and my future goals:

[::] I worked all summer as a research assistant for midwives who were working on an application for a NIH research grant. It was such a great learning experience, and I got paid just as well as my RN working classmates. I then parlayed that into another position as a graduate assistant for a diversity program on campus that involved mentoring minority undergraduate nursing students through their own research projects. That job has been extended and I now have a job for the whole fall semester. These jobs were/are much more in line with my specific talents and goals. So why do I feel like I'm supposed to be working as a nurse? Or, more importantly to me, why can't I find more of the non-clinically working new RNs who are willing to talk about why they have chosen not to take RN positions? Where can I find mentors who think it's fabulous that I'm following my own dreams/paths to success in nursing - or at least get those who have been great mentors to really stand up and say "look, it works the way you're doing it too, we respect the decisions you've made and will make, even if they aren't in line with the traditional way of doing things in this centuries-old profession." LOL I won't hold my breath for that last one. ;o) It reminds me of something I wrote earlier about embracing all kinds of midwives, not just those who love clinical practice. The same goes for nursing. I have embraced nursing, just a different aspect of the profession. I hope I continue to find the treasured, less treaded pathways so that I am not only giving to the profession, but giving to myself as well. Good luck to all of you new clinically practicing RNs... but also to the new RNs still trying to find their niche in nursing!

[::] I went to the ACNM conference! It was held in Boston this year and we had a blast. I petitioned one of the deans for some conference funding on behalf of myself and the other midwifery students of color, and to my great surprise was granted funding (after a lot of paperwork - also a great learning experience) So we all cramped into a very small, very expensive hotel room in Boston and enjoyed the opportunity to meet midwives and student midwives from all over the country. There were of course moments where I was irritated with people for minor offenses (case in point: someone we had breakfast with randomly turned and asked me if my parents were "healthy" without it being the topic and without asking anyone else at the table... ugh ... just file it under "fat in nursing school" and keep moving I thought to myself) and the expected moments of disagreements while in conversation. Nonetheless, I had an good time. However, I will not be attending this conference every year unless it is paid for by my employer. There are good opportunities available, such as becoming certified in things like vacuum extraction and of course getting your CEU credits in one swoop. There were also good seminars, but being a student meant that we had just had lectures and read the research on a lot of the topics like hypertension, etc. It was more worthwhile to go to sessions that we will not get like those on herbal remedies, or working with residents, etc. But mostly the conference seems like one great big reunion... and I don't know that I need that every year... especially not $1,000 worth. Something occurred to us students over the course of the conference though... the ACNM is a very white haired white lady organization right now...or, probably more accurate, the younger midwives aren't very involved. We think that one reason may be that those in charge seem to be hanging on for dear life. Somehow we must make rom for the next generation... but the "next generation" is actually also quite older... so that means we should be making room for my generation. I think there is room to grow in the ACNM, but I think it is plagued with the same issues as the nursing profession is - the "requirement" that one work for a significant amount of time before moving "up" in ranks and education adds a considerable amount of years to the average age of those in leadership positions. It will be interesting to see where this goes, and to see how I choose to become involved...

[::] Random. In other not-so-significant news, I lost a few pounds, attempting to prep this plush, soft, fatty body for pregnancy in the near future. I started planning for graduation, which is seriously no small feat.


Pamela said...

so glad to see you again. I've missed you. A lot.

So, what do you think the lack of appeal regarding the ACNM is for younger midwives? It's always interesting how some organizations cannot grow or change to meet the needs of its members...instead choosing to remain the same for those who have been a part of it for years.

Is that what is happening with ACNM? I know it's sometimes a factor in our statewide midwifery organization...only reversed.

Anonymous said...

I think if you're satisfied with your work as a RN (no matter what the work is), it will be meaningful and important to your career and to your growth as a midwife!