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Labor & Delivery: Knocked Down But Not Destroyed

Posted Jan 15 2009 7:42pm

I love my job. I genuinely love what I do. Love. It. I was torn for so long about leaving ER. I think I hated the idea of not finishing what I started, and, honestly, missing out on action... any action. It was something that was unsettled in my heart for a long time, and I can't say that I still don't have an occasional pang in my stomach when I think about it. I can tell you that it hasn't been that many weeks ago that I've gone down that "I think I'm finally going to have to go back to ER" road.

Fast forward to now, after three years of working on OB... I am finally content. Let me rephrase that... knocked down but not destroyed. Despite three years of painful learning experiences, stupid mistakes, babies coming out like blue noodles, drama, more learning, and some more drama... I never thought I'd actually get to this place. The place that I know where I am where I am supposed to be. I'm still scared, but more brave. It's taken people (or a person, sometimes) to be extremely hard on me... forcing me to re-examine the way I think or react. What I've learned the most is that my instincts aren't so bad, and that I am often the only voice of my patient (especially at night), so I need not be afraid of using it. I am very sad about issues and strains that working for a hospital can bring...

First, and foremost, I am called by God to serve Him... providing for my family is a priority as well. I am blessed to have a job that allows me to do both. I am not owned by the hospital. I am accountable to God, my patient, and my family. Because of this, I will not worry about tomorrow. I will take what I have learned, the good, the bad, and the gut-wrenching agonizing ugly... and LEARN. And, never allow the same mistake to happen twice. And, I will not be shaken by the ever-changing health care system.

I used to be such an introvert. Shy. I wasn't outgoing, outspoken, out-nothing. God has given me a voice of my own, a mind of my own, and the ability to be funny, laugh, love, and enjoy my life. I believe a large part of this transformation is because of my call to nursing. Let me clarify... OB nursing. Not ER. Now, after working as a nurse for four years, I've realized that if I were still in ER, I wouldn't be who I am today. Not because I don't have an utmost respect for ER nurses, but because I know the tough iron armor that an ER nurse must adorn before entering work. Because, they take arrows from any and all directions. It's not that I don't in OB, but I have a larger window of time to make a difference than they do. And, that's where I flourish. I'm sure if you asked any ER nurse if they want to do my job... they'd tell you ever so eloquently that they don't "flourish" in OB like they do in ER (as they wheel my laboring patient up as fast as they can). Oh, and, for the record, don't think I don't like being in the middle of action... because I do. If anything exciting happens, I almost always have to be in the middle of it. It can be a good thing, or it can bite me in the rear (and it has).

Nursing has taught me, also, that people aren't always what they seem. That there are diamonds under tough exteriors...and that there are wolves (or snakes) in sheep's clothing. This is very biblical. I've learned, and still am learning, to not trust so easily... sometimes the one you end up trusting the most... is the last person you would have imagined... and the ones who puts out their "life well lead of kindness & servant hood" can be the most deceitful. Lesson well learned on my part... I've worked with people (co-workers, managers, patients, visitors, etc.) of all shapes, sizes, colors, beliefs, lifestyles, and educations (or lack thereof)... and I hope I have a better intuition of who I can trust, and who I cannot. I'm a firm believer that if you are called to be in leadership, a teacher, a manager, a nurse, a doctor, a coach, etc... that you are held to a higher standard of accountability... and talking ill of others, boasting, gossiping, lying, cheating, inflicting harm... all take away your credibility to do what you do best. Especially, in the medical field... because people's lives are in our hands. And people TRUST us. You can't be a nurse or doctor of any kind and "forget to care." New nurses trust older nurses, staff members trust their managers, nurses and doctors trust each other. We cannot take this responsibility to God and others lightly. We are to do no harm.

I do love my job. It's just bigger than I ever thought it would be. It changes me. It makes me a better listener, wife, mother, friend, and daughter. I get to see the beginning of life... the hellos. Sometimes I see the hellos and the goodbyes. And, I can handle that, too. I enjoy caring for and teaching teen moms. I love babies, I love to watch a laboring mom deliver her baby. I love to watch the dads choke up.

I hold myself accountable to my actions. I do lose sleep over a mistake, loose word, or bad judgement call. I hope I never lose that about myself. I hope I never forget to care. I'm not a saint, but I am making it a personal and professional goal to continue striving to love and care for others in the best and right way. Like I said before, I am still scared... but more brave. Knocked down, but not destroyed.

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