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.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Want to a Start a Petition...

that says NO MORE STUDENTS until you can comfortably educate the ones you have... NO MORE STUDENTS until you have clinical placements for them all. NO MORE STUDENTS if that means any less clinical experience... NO MORE STUDENTS without first really investing (and I don't mean just money) in new midwifery faculty. NO MORE STUDENTS UNTIL MIDWIFERY EDUCATION PROGRAMS CAN SUPPORT THEM FULLY.

The following is an excerpt from the current (until last week!) president of the ACNM who just resigned and sent the members a long email about her departure, and what lay ahead.

The ACNM strategic plan calls for midwives to be attending 20% of the women giving birth by the year 2020. I estimate that we will need 14,000 practicing midwives by then. Without a plan for producing these care givers, we are “sounding brass and tinkling cymbals”. Last week I spoke with the educators and the service directors as they met in Washington about this need. I asked them to think out of the box about developing a plan for doing this. Each and every one of us needs to think about how we can do it right now. Brainstorm ideas and communicate them to headquarters through your Chapter Chairs and Regional Representatives. Believe that all things are possible. When you talk with nurses, accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative about a career in midwifery. I know that every one of you would not have changed your choice to become a midwife. Use the Cochrane Review recently put up on the ACNM website and the cost-benefit study of midwifery education that will soon be released by ACNM. If 40 programs just admitted 25 students each we would have the potential for graduating 1000 students annually. We need to do this NOW. If nurses do not step up to the plate we need to look more at direct entry. There are young people wanting to be midwives and we need to open the opportunities for their education. Every practicing midwife needs to be involved in nursing education for nurses to understand the need and the career opportunities open to them in midwifery. This window of opportunity will not be open long.



I agree that we should support direct entry programs, but not because nursing "isn't ready." We should support them because they are equally effective sister midwives, period. Honestly, I don't even know how it is possible to have this conversation, this email, a strategic plan, about educating more midwives that does not first seriously address our faculty shortage and inadequate clinical space for students. Maybe this isn't a problem in every state, but from my understanding several schools are facing the same issues.

There are 16 people in my cohort and we're struggling... 25? 25?!?

No thank you madam president, no thank you.

Now... loan repayment to encourage me to become an underpaid, overworked midwifery faculty so that we might one day be able to accept 25 students per program?

Yes please.

As soon as possible, thank you.


Ashley said...

Girl tell the truth! We have clinical placement up to 3 hours away (I am 1h15min away) Monday and Tuesday or Tuesday and Wednesday then class Thursday and Friday from 9-6 and 8-4 respectively. We also have 20 students in my class. Stop admitting so many damn students if you can't reasonably accommodate all of us or give us scholarships (not more loans!) to cover the cost of gas and housing!- Thanks for letting me get that off my chest as I get ready to leave my house at 0630 to be in clinic by 0800. Oh yeah and we definitely share sites with at least one other student.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm a a soon to be direct entry latina midwife student moving from California to study in Seattle- appreciate your blog which I found while looking for scholarships online- I'm also sweating loans that I don't even have yet......
Happy to see that you are going for it and that as a future CNM you support us future CPMs, Good luck to you and to all your classmates, you seem like you know what you want to do, so don't give up, you can do it!

Rj said...

Do you know why she resigned? And what is her name?

Rj said...

I looked it up. I was expecting her to be 82 years old--like Dr. Ruth Lubic.

Morag said...

AMEN to that. You're wonderful!
Xx L