Saturday, June 20, 2009

I assure you I'm fully qualified.....

As many of you know, my goal in life has never been to be a Telemetry nurse.

No, my friends. My true love is Labour & Delivery. My ultimate desire is to be a midwife. Someday it will happen. Siiiigh.

The topic came up today, when a friend pointed out a very pregnant music teacher at a jazz concert and said "Haha. Don't you wish you had to deal with that?" I think I surprised him when I said "Kinda yeah..."

I told him there were many reasons, but one of them sticks out.

When I was in Nursing School during my rotation and preceptorship in L&D, each labouring woman would ask the same thing. "So do you have children?"

And when I said no, they'd each get this fleeting look that said "How do you expect to take care of me if you've never been through this?"

Granted it was only split-second, and no one ever *said* anything, but I could tell it was there.

I don't have to have gone through it to be a positive, supportive, sympathetic, attentive nurse. It's part of the job, no matter my life experience.

And it's only in L&D that you get the question.

My CHFers never ask, "So, have you ever had fluid build up in your lungs because your heart pumps inefficiently?"

My GI bleeds never ask, "So, have you ever had blood gush out your anus in terrifying amounts?"

My Diabetics never ask, "So, have any of your toes died and turned black because you weren't careful with your diet and medication?"

How many surgeons get asked if they've had a total knee replacement? How many dermatologists get asked if they've had skin cancer? How many physical therapists get asked if they've had to relearn to walk up stairs?"

It's irrelevant if it's a yes or a no. Fully trained and fully qualified is just that. You don't have to have suffered from it in order to take care of it.

Still, I look forward to the day where a labouring woman can look at me and ask "So, do you have children" and I can say "yes" and see a look of relief instead of concern, and they believe that I am actually fully qualified.


  1. Even if you adopted you could still say yes.

    However, you will still get asked the question "do you have kids" because it is far more common/likely for an adult woman to have kids than to have had CHF, intestinal bleeding or DM. In the future, it might be a sign of our aging when out patients do start asking those quesitons.!

  2. I think it could be a little hormonal thing??