Friday, March 15, 2013

My OB Clinical


Hello all

This is Henry again and like I promised, I will tell you guys all about my OB Clinical experiences.

With this clinical rotation, I was assigned to be at the Labor and Delivery Unit, Antepartum, Mother/Baby Unit (which is postpartum), WIC (Women, Infants, Children), and a Lactation Clinic.

I haven't been to the Lactation Clinic yet, so I don't know how that's like. However, I will share with you guys about my learning moments in other units in this post.

I) Labor & Delivery and Antepartum Unit

To be honest, I was very excited yet nervous at the same time when I first got there.

For those of you who are not quite familiar with this, this is where mothers come to the hospital when their water broke or they start having contractions.

On the other hand, Antepartum unit is where mothers come into the hospital because something happened to them. It could be anything from abnormal pain, hypertension, accidents, water breaks sooner than expected, heart problems...Basically, anything that is abnormal and that we need to carefully monitor mothers and fetuses.

Anyways, back to my story, since I am a guy, it was a little harder for me to be on this unit.
Back when I had my Med/Surg clinical, I was assigned to a nurse and I would take care of whoever that nurse had for that day. However, since this clinical is totally different from Med/Surg, I don't have a specific nurse to follow. So on the day I have clinical, I have to ask around to see if any mother would take me in and allow me to take care of her.

There was one day when no one wanted a young male student nurse to be there with them, so I had to sit there waiting for another opportunity.

With that being said, I do not blame the mothers or the nurses, or anyone. And if you are reading this right now and you are mad for me, please don't. Think about it this way. Let's say you are in there about to have your baby, you are very vulnerable. You know that it's gonna be the best day of your life and you want everything to be perfect. You have a choice because it is your right and it is totally acceptable for you to determine who will be involved in this birthing process. And if you see a young male student nurse, you might question his knowledge or you just don't want him around too much when your private parts are showing.

I don't mean to sound so negative about this because I honestly do not hate this. I love this experience. Learning comes in so many different forms.

I learn that professionalism and confidence allowed me to form a closer bond with my patients. I learn that as long as I maintain boundaries and allow patients to have their autonomy to choose, they will trust me and value me just like they do with other health care providers.

Therefore, I did have families that let me take care of them during labor and  delivery. They welcomed me and allowed me to do things with them. On my very first day, I saw a planned Cesarean section and it was amazing. We usually go home at 3:30 but there was one time I stayed there until 6:30 because the mother I was taking care of had a hard time pushing the baby out. I decided to stay with her became I had come so far and I would not give up until this baby were delivered.

The view from my floor :)
II) Mother/Baby Unit

When I think of babies, I think that they are very fragile and I tend to put a mental label of "do not touch" on them. When my sister gave birth to my niece, I did not touch the baby till she was like 3 months old because I did not want to break her or drop her. I know it sounds horrible but please put yourself in my shoes, you would feel the same :) I assume.

However, this is clinical and I will not stop myself from learning opportunities.

In the Mother/Baby Unit, we now have 2 patients: the mother, and the baby. And that is very very very different from all of the clinical rotations I had before.

For the mothers, I have to do assessments, vital signs, medications, intakes & output, etc... Basically, all of the things that I usually do in Med/Surg. However, since these mothers just gave births, now I have to worry about postpartum hemorrhage, lactation, surgical sites (in C-section moms), lacerations and hemorrhoids (in vaginal births), etc...

Then I also have the baby, and baby are not like adults. They are not miniature adults. They are...something else... :) I usually do assessments, vital signs, swaddle, etc... I also have to do a bath on each baby but I still haven't had an opportunity to do so.

The first time I held a baby, I was scared to death. I have to constantly tell myself to calm down, to take a deep breath, and to be professional. I am not an expert in swaddling but I am able to swaddle babies now.

You know how in movies, people say that it doesn't matter how tired they are at work, when they come home and they see their babies and everything just goes away. Well, pre clinical, I would be screaming "Liars" at the TV. But it is sort of true.

I remembered this one day when both my mother (that's what we call our mothers that we take care) and my baby were critical and I had to run back and forth in order to keep up with everything. I was super busy that morning; I had to do vital signs every hour on the hour, I had to do medications, I had to do my assessment on my baby and chart it before the Pediatrician showed up, etc... By the time that I got a chance to sit down and chart, I could feel that my legs probably hated me for life. Then I heard the baby cried and I went into the room to see if I could help the family. Since the mom was on the bed and I did not want her to do all the works to get to the baby, I asked if I could help her calm the baby by holding the baby and she said ok. The moment I held that baby, I finally understood that feeling. I did not mind everything my nurse I had to do for that mother and baby. I held the baby and the baby fell back into sleep soundly and I will never forget that moment.

I had a great time in this clinical and I appreciated everything I've learned from it.
Since Emergency, Critical Care, and Oncology are kinda of my things, I don't think I will be an OB Nurse but anything could happen, I guess we'll see...Maybe one day, I will be come a male nurse midwife :) then do I call myself a nurse mid-husband?

Hope you guys enjoy this post and hope this post could help those of you know are interested in Nursing, especially OB Nursing.

Until next time, take care and enjoy Spring.

Sincerely,
Henry

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