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It’s OK to be a student

Jul 15th, 2011 Training

I’m exhausted, but wanted to get this written before the feeling subsides.

Being on-call for births can be stressful. I need to be able to balance my time between births and studying, and I never feel ready to do births – at least not yet – especially at the birth center where it’s just me and a nurse.  And honestly, sometimes I hope there are no labors so I can get some sleep or study.

But tonight I had a labor – and of course there were things that happened that I was not ready to handle on my own. But that is to be expected because I am a student.  It is only by being there and doing these things over and over that they will become second nature (instead of the slow thinking I have to do through things).

My point is this – you are not alone.  You do not have to be perfect. Don’t be stressed out because you don’t know everything. You are a student, your job is to learn. Your preceptors know this. So relax and enjoy the on-call experiences.

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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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