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Jan 18th, 2011 Training

Today is the first day of classes for the semester, and in the process of course orientation I learned the clinical experience is intended to provide me with a specific number of a handful of tasks.  I should have figured this out last semester since the instructor keeps saying we need to think in terms of experiences rather than in hours of clinical.  So I spent the last half hour reviewing my files and counting experiences.

I was surprised.  I’ve met my graduation requirement for antepartum visits, but need to get more initial obstetric visits and a lot more well-woman visits.  I was glad I kept track, now I know where to focus my time this semester and my preceptors can help me meet this goal.

When I was teaching and doing doula work, I eventually developed a method to keep track of how many families I worked with and what I did with/for them.  But I didn’t start out that way.  It was too bad, because I lost significant numbers that helped to show my experience.  Even more unfortunate, I haven’t gone through to figure out how many families I worked with.  But still, I have the files.

So here is a task for you: Create a form that allows you to keep track of the families you work with.  It should have at minimum the date or days you meet, who the family is and what you do with them.  Then keep track.

I’m a bit sad I thought of this after the semester started. It would not have taken too long for me to put this information into Outlook using user fields and then I would have a database I could reference.  I need to do some work with my contact files soon anyway, maybe I will enter all the information – or at least create the fields so I can slowly enter the information. The numbers would be interesting even if they are incomplete.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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