So, what’s midwifery school been like so far? Well, busy.
I realized I should be documenting a lot more of the details of these first few magical weeks for posterity, but I haven’t quite figured out how to fit consistent internet time into my new schedule. I’m sure as the weeks progress I’ll get a better handle on it, but right now, just getting my nightly quota of homework done seems like a tremendous accomplishment.
Last week we had a lecture on gravity and parity, and I remember thinking during the lecture something like this: how fabulous it is to actually be talking about pregnant women!! Honestly. It still gives me a little thrill of excitement just thinking about it. Nursing school was such a long, hard slog, full of assignments that were interesting, sure, but weren’t really where my heart wanted to be. The brief unit on maternal/child nursing was like a breath of fresh air, and then it was back to pressure ulcers and pancreatitis and the management of Type I versus Type II diabetes. Important stuff, certainly, but it felt like forcing yourself to finish all of your vegetables so that you could eat dessert…and midwifery school was dessert. I’ve finally gotten around to dessert!!
This semester, however, doesn’t really have much to do with pregnant women either. Primary Care is all about the detection and treatment of common problems and ailments, including prevention and screening, and knowing when to refer a patient out. Health Assessment is all about performing a physical exam, taking a history, and documenting your findings. And Research, of course, is research. We’ll be expected to design a research question, and then do systematic searches to find answers, and write it up in one neat bundle at the end of the class.
No pregnancy. Not yet. No babies, no labor, no birth. It’s all the preliminary stuff instead, laying the foundation. I am still totally thrilled about laying this foundation, though, and eager to do as comprehensive a job as I can. I think that’s why the homework has been so daunting—I’m not skimming, I’m taking my time, doing all of the reading, taking notes, writing pneumonics, reviewing on the subway. I’m sure at some point all of this will get streamlined, but for now, in the full flush of early semester enthusiasm, it’s all engines go, full steam ahead. I’ll take advantage of it for as long as it lasts.
I will also say this: the other women in my class have a lot to offer, and we’re bonding together as a group already, which is fantastic. Today, our morning was spent in an inter-disciplinary lecture on ethics, and all of the midwifery students clustered together in a little group towards the back of the auditorium. You could pick us out by sight alone. I think midwifery students tend to be a bit less mainstream, a bit more independent, and I think this is reflected even in very simple things, like the way we dress and the jewelry we choose and the feminist pins on our bags. There were only 11 of us present, and we were definitely the smallest contingent there, but we were one of the more vocal sections of the room, answering questions, asking questions, and otherwise contributing to the discussion. I felt quite proud, to be honest; way to represent! It was also neat to get a chance to educate our peers, because a lot of students from other disciplines didn’t even really know what midwifery entailed. During one of the breaks, I got into a long conversation with a few students in the PA program (physician assistants), and they didn’t even know that midwives could practice in hospitals, let alone prescribe drugs, or work independently from a doctor. It’s always nice to be able to provide a clue to the clueless, although it does make me sad that so many people (even students in a college of health related professions!) need clues in the first place.
We gotta get the message out, ladies!