Well friends, its been a doozy few weeks over here. It feels almost like a blur at this point, but to say that I have been busy and inundated with information is an understatement. But what I will tell you is that I am drinking a beer and eating a donut (do as I say, not as I do is what I tell my patients) RIGHT NOW and it is so good.
After days of communications workshops, introductions, paperwork, and more paperwork, electronic health record trainings and MORE paperwork they finally let me shadow for a few days in clinic before sending me for more training.
Those first few days in clinic were a combination of excitement and a feeling of “oh shit, I kind of remember most of this stuff….” and knowing that what I really just need is to be let loose on my new patients (watch out, I start seeing my own schedule Monday!).
After a few days of clinic shadowing I have been down at a different hospital all week to get my feet wet with labor and birth as well as get signed off on cesarean section first assist.
I was at the hospital for pretty much all daylight hours this past week and helped 10 little ones into the world. It was busy, exhilarating, emotional, and a huge reality check into what I know and what I don’t know.
I had a little come-to-Jesus meeting with myself during my long drives to and from the hospital this week. I have always had difficulty being assertive, speaking up, making myself known, and asking for what I need (and want). I know that this next year will be almost like a repeat of many of the struggles I faced during my first year of practice.
I had a midwife pull me aside this week, after hearing about my struggles as a student with a particularly abusive preceptor and asked how she could best help me, or if there was something she could better do to aid my learning. So I told her. During c-sections, stand here and let me do as much as I can, don’t jump in to help, let me figure it out and follow the surgeon’s instructions. I’ll ask for help during a delivery if I truly need it. Otherwise, I need to do it myself to believe that I am capable.
I spent so much of my training believing (and being told) that I was not capable, or that I was wrong, that it has left a deep fear of being wrong and now much of the self-talk that I tell myself needs to change.
At my previous job I was able to overcome many of my insecurities by adopting a “fake it till you make it” attitude that allowed me to consult with other providers, talk to patients and instruct other staff with more assertiveness and surety.
On the labor and delivery floor I need to do this times about a billion. While discussing a difficult case in morning report this morning, one of the physicians talked about our role as leaders in the room. It is our job not only to instruct, to lay out the plan, but also to set the tone.
This week was an amazing beginning to re-entering full-scope practice, and I am so glad that I returned when I did. I have talked to many of my friends who I graduated with and have wistfully wished to fast-forward through the next six months or so. I’m feeling excited, but also fully aware of the challenges and many stumbling blocks I will face in the coming year. I am steeling myself for all of them, but there are so many joys that make it so worth it.
The baby who came after three miscarriages right to the chest of a tearful mamma
The baby who sweetly snores on mom’s chest while we finish her c-section
The baby who came two weeks early, but now Dad gets to meet his new baby before he is deployed
The baby who emerges in a water slide of fluid, soaking everyone standing close by and everyone laughs