Monday, October 18, 2010

Identity crisis

Nurse-midwife. Nurse. Midwife. Hmmm..the age old question was going through my head this weekend while on call. How do I most identify myself and where do I fit in? For the first time, I had a patient and might I add..she was MY labor at SMMC. While I have nothing but good things to say about the staff I met there yesterday, it was nonetheless awkward as I was not familiar to them as a practitioner. There's nothing like the feeling of being the "new kid on the block" and for me it holds a double meaning. I was asked how long I had been a midwife and when I answered I could sense the apprehension. It's hard not to take that personally but having been a nurse before becoming a midwife, I understand the reaction. I too am guilty of scrutinizing new practitioners and perhaps not letting my guard down until I deemed them worthy. Since I am for now unfamiliar with the staff and physicians, I found it hard to find a place to relax while my patient labored and rested with her epidural. I visited with the nurses for awhile but felt I just got in their way, so I went to the doctor's lounge. I felt just as awkward there as I felt like I had snuck into a secret realm. Trying to be inconspicuous I headed for the ladies room, which of course was being cleaned. I must have looked desperate as one physician piped up and suggested I use the men's restroom as he promised to guard the door. I took that as a sign of acceptance and went along with the plan. (Yep, I'm all about first impressions) As I came out of the restroom the doctor extended his hand to introduce himself and said, "You must be Dr. Darby." Nope, "I'm Midwife Darby." Yep, that's how I answered..identity crisis over.

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