Semester Winding Down

Semester Winding Down

I almost feel like I should apologize to you, dear readers.  I have been somewhat absent for the last few months.  I confess to a terrible thing  – I took 22 credits this semester.  It wasn’t even because I had some need to take a bunch of classes to graduate on time.  I was simply interested in the material and figured I could handle it.  The good news is I did make it through alive and sane.  But to do that I had to let so many things go.

My last class was today, but the semester will not end for me yet.  Just like last semester, I need to take an incomplete until I finish all the requirements.  This seems to be a standard thing with the dual degree students in nursing, at least it was.  They changed the program for the students who started this year.  I started last year, so I am under the old system.  I take public health and nursing classes at the same time – literally.  This is the second semester I was scheduled to be in two places at once.

I still need to finish some clinical hours, and I have to take my midwifery competency test to be finished with all the semester’s course work.  I plan to have that done in less than three weeks.  So even though I’m not in class or working on homework, I am restudying every bit of midwifery information and quizzing myself with digital flashcards.  The test is 350 questions, and I’l have 3 hours to complete it. As I write that out it seems impossible, so I must have the number of questions wrong – they usually give us a minute per question.

Interesting side note to this semester, I did my family practice clinical hours in the HIV clinic – what I have been told is one of the largest HIV programs in the USA.   I decided to do this so I was competent to care for HIV infected pregnant women in my global work.  But now that I’ve gotten my toes wet I have to admit I love it.  HIV care is really interesting – from the complexity of the monitoring to the risk factors of the patients.  So now, if I can bend the universe to my will, I plan to be an HIV specialist midwife.


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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the 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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