Saturday, May 03, 2008

Maternity Rotation

When I was pregnant w/ my daughter (my first kid) I made a quilt. It's a bunch of strips of fabric put together in the "log cabin" pattern. When I went into labor I was working on it and I had finished everything but half of the edge. Now, seven and 1/2 years later, you can see that it is pretty tattered (that's a very small section of the quilt there). We sleep under it every night and wash it in the washing machine and treat it like what it is: a blanket to keep us warm. It's special to me but, more importantly, it serves a function.
It does remind me of the hard work of being pregnant and giving birth, though, every time I look at it.

Ever since I decided to go to nursing school I've wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse. And I just finished my labor and delivery rotation and, I have to be honest, it was my least favorite rotation. I don't know if it was because I put so much pressure on myself to do a good job or because I'm really burned out right now or because I've had such high expectations for it, but I'm leaving this rotation feeling crappy about my abilities, feeling lousy about nursing in general and just really fed up w/ being a student. I've done what I can to embrace my student-y role: I've resigned myself to being humble and admitting that I know so little, I've polished my study habits until they are gleaming and precise, I put myself out there and ask questions that no one else wants to, I've taken on a student nurse gov't position, I've made a ton of friends and on and on. But I'm so tired now. I just want to be finished and get a job as a nurse and take care of my family.

I'm not ambitious anymore. I thought: I could be a midwife or an ob/gyn nurse practitioner. Ive always had a passion for women's health issues (ever since I took female physiology and gynecology - "gin fizz" - my first time in college) and I just adore working with children and families, but I'm not going to put up a fight for it. My maternity nursing instructor just wasn't impressed by me. She said, "You're just average. You're not the 'total package'. And you want to go into this field?" She had already approved me to do a preceptorship (that's like an internship for you non-nurse-y readers) in L & D, but I've heard if she doesn't fight for you that you could still not get it when it comes time to finding a preceptor to take you in the specialty. So now I've convinced myself that I'm just an average nurse and I would have hated to have an average nurse help to deliver my kids. It was just such a pivotal moment in my life: the birth of my kids. Now I just want to switch to the regular old, average nurse med-surg preceptorship so I can stop fretting about the whole thing. I'm just so tired. And I'm really feeling sorry for myself.


Kristin said...

Follow your heart, Molly.

Katherine said...

Holy shit! I can't believe instructors talk to you like that. And Julie said you are on an "amazing" student. Don't doubt yourself. Have you done geriatrics yet? what did you think of it?

Anonymous said...

Jeez Molly, Simmer down. When I was a student teacher I felt the same way. One of my "cooperating" teachers refused to write me a letter of recommendation, saying that she only writes them if she can "honestly write a good one". Meanwhile she wrote one for my student teaching partner, who had fallen asleep twice while watching her teach. Things will fall into place eventually. Heck, I still feel like a crappy teacher, but I haven't given up. And neither should you.

Molly said...

Thanks, Kristin. Trying to sort that out now.

Katherine, I *loved* geriatrics. It was one of my favorite rotations. And there's a lot of old school nurses out there who remember the days when going to nursing school was like joining the army and they have a sort of drop-and-give-me-twenty mentality about the whole thing. But I think this instructor is just blunt and she either likes you or she doesn't and she doesn't like me. She also had the same attitude towards a good friend of mine who is a fabulous student and conscientious nurse and it had an equally devastating effect on this person.

Thanks anonymous.

Kitt said...

Geez. Not liking you should have nothing to do with you abilities as a student. As Kristin said, go with your heart. This teacher isn't the the final arbiter of your life. You are.

Marlene said...

Gosh Molly, I felt really sad reading your blog and angry because I've been there too. Regardless of what she thinks of your ability, she didn't have to say it that way. However,you are still a student and she is making a decision based on a glimpse of who you are at the beginning of your journey to becoming a nurse. She does not have the final say in who you will become and I have faith in you that you will become a great L&D nurse. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I know how you add insult to injury, there is a glut of new grads in the bay-yay right now, so maybe the med-surg preceptorship could be the better choice, anyway....but yea, follow your heart.

Molly said...

Yeah, anonymous. I've been thinking about that. I really want to be as employable as possible.

License Pending said...

Hey, don't let that instructor get you down. Some instructors are on a power trip and have no idea what they are talking about.

If you want LD then go for it! Of course you don't know anything about it. You're a student.

Any nurse will tell you that the real learning starts when you get your first job.

I know you're tired but hang on. I graduated last week and it was the most awesome feeling in the world. Knowing I worked so hard and sacrificed so much to get here made it that much sweeter. There is a wonderful life waiting for you at the end.

Meanwhile take a break if you can. Do something nice for yourself and recharge your battery so you can get through this last bit of time you have left.

I'm pulling for you, kiddo!

Anonymous said...

I agree that you should follow your heart. It is my belief that nursing instructor who say disheartening comments like that to their student have lost their heart, so they hate meeting students who have a heart. I am also in my last year of nursing school. It would have been shorter had I not had a clinical instructor who put me through the ringer. I too am questioning my ability and very down on nursing right now so I can appreciate what you are going through. But I hope and pray you follow your dream and stick with your plan, and don't let a heartless instructor derail you!

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