I’m taking a class in the epidemiology of reproductive health this semester.  I like it, but I’m weird like that.  We talk about where the data comes from for the various statistics you hear thrown around, and what that may (or may not mean) for potential bias and the accuracy of the numbers.  No, not at the conspiracy level of a country falsifying the information.  Just the normal problems in trying to get an accurate picture of the reproductive health in an area. So what does this mean?  Well, how do you figure out the amount of STIs in an area if there is noRead More →

I’ve finally decided on a thesis topic, and it isn’t an “international” focus. But it is… let me explain. I will be looking at he birth to practitioner ratio it the USA, to see if there is a level of busy-ness that increases certain outcomes.  In other words, how many births can a doctor attend a year before we see problems.  Seems like a simple question, but has never really been answered here in the US.  Actually, I can find very little about it anywhere. I did a similar project while in my BSN program in New York.  There were counties where the birth toRead More →

This is my first semester in residence at the school of public health.  All that means they are receiving my tuition money, because I still have a full course-load of midwifery classes in addition to the public health stuff.  So far the semester has been manageable, but I haven’t begun my clinical hours yet. Ask me again in a few weeks. My program director found a clinical site for me in an urban hospital with a large under served population. My family practice clinical site will be in a more rural area.  And if all goes as planned, I will do a few hours each week in anRead More →

Classes begin today.  This is my first semester in residence at the public health school which means in addition to the nursing courses I need to take to finish, I am taking a full course-load of public health.  I am also preparing for my thesis and my practicum.  So much to think about, but some of it is already under way. I have done some searching and really like an opportunity to work with a childbirth advocacy group in Honduras over the summer of 2012 for my practicum.  I’ll give more details if it all works out. I’ll ask for connections if it doesn’t. AsRead More →

I was giving a great gift from a wonderful friend.  She has volunteered with MSF for the last few years and so had two copies of their publication Obstetrics in remote settings. Her second copy is now mine. Basically, this is the text they use to orient new workers to field obstetrics. It reminds me alot of Dr. Gregory White’s Emergency Birth, with the interesting additions of prenatal care, how to identify various infections, and postpartum care including kangaroo care for low birth weight.  It has simple explanations and simple drawings. It is not really on the level of the Hesperian Foundations books, it does rely a bitRead More →

I don’t feel any great passion for working with HIV.  I have a passion for pregnant women. But I have to accept that to be effective in areas where HIV rates in women are high (which even includes groups of women here in Atlanta), I need to have a good working understanding of HIV treatment and the health concequences. I decided I’d better make sure some of my educational time is spent focusing on HIV and women.  Too met that aim, I have asked my program director about doing clinical time with an HIV specialist who treats women. As luck would have it we doRead More →

At the ACNM Annual Conference I attended a workshop entitled Helping Babies Breathe.  It turned out to be a trainer training for a program from the American Academy of Pediatrics on a basic neonatal resuscitation program. This is not the Neonatal Resuscitation used in developed countries.  This is an evidence based program designed to be implemented in resource poor areas. It was created to train birth workers in a simple procedure to ensure newborns have the best chance of surviving the first minutes after birth. How important is this? The World Health Organization estimates newborn asphyxia (not breathing at birth) is responsible for 813,562 neonatal deathsRead More →

I just submitted my final paper for the community transformation class that was iced out over winter break.  Although I had been exposed to some of the Frier principles previously, I have to admit the class was a great way to experience the method and principles at work.  I had no idea there was an actual “method” to follow. I am still “stuck” in Atlanta for at least the next two years while I finish my midwifery training, but I’ve decided to keep my community transformation skills sharp by sharing what I have learned.  So this summer I will be working with a group ofRead More →

Second semester of midwifery school has begun, but not really.  The ice in Atlanta has made travel dangerous so the city is effectively closed. Gives me a few days to finish preparing myself for the work of a semester. I underestimated the amount of work it would be to complete the MPH and the MSN together.  This next semester is going to be my most difficult in terms of balancing classes, family and clinical.  20 credits! But I remember the purpose and I remember my women who are waiting for me to return. As part of the midwifery program, we “practice” our skills with experiencedRead More →

I’m writing during a break in my first day of school.  So far so good.  I’ve completed the pre-readings for the nursing school and so am not starting behind, which makes a big difference. Not as good on the public health front.  Doing the dual program has challenges, and one of them is that I am not considered a student in the Public Health School until my second year.  This is an administrative designation to keep track of the money for school, it has nothing to do with what actually happens.  Because to make it through both programs in a timely manner, I will beRead More →