I unpacked all my things, and claimed the same bed I had last year. There is an intern here who has a car, and she graciously offered to take me to Sun Harvest, the local health food store. I got all stocked up on yummy, healthy food. I've been eating my greens (chard and broccoli) nearly every day, and there were some really good cherries to be had as well.
Pretty quickly after I was settled in, there was someone in the clinic in labor. All right! This is what I came for. Though I wasn't scheduled to work the first night I arrived, I helped one of the newer interns do the "2nd on" job--the assistant at the birth. It may seem like a bummer to observe, but really it's not. You always learn something at a birth, and there's always something interesting happening. If nothing else, you can practice in your head what you will do when you get to be the "hands-on" girl.
Wednesday was a busy day, full of citas and birth. The "1st on" in the daytime is very new to midwifery, and the "2nd on" as well. I was "3rd on." After the citas began, we had someone come in laboring. The 1st on is responsible for monitoring the laboring woman, and continuing to help out with the prenatal and postpartum appointments. Then another woman came in in labor. This would also be the job of the 1st on if she were experienced, but the staff midwife decided to give the 2nd on this person to be her primary. That left me doing citas, which was pretty fine with me. I did most of the appointments that day, and began working on cleaning up the clinic.
Late in the afternoon, a third woman entered the clinic in labor. So, I was assigned her care. Since she was in early labor, I guessed that I probably wouldn't be primary at her birth. The rule is that if the birth is imminent at the end of your shift, you stay in the primary 1st on role, and complete 2 hours of vitals, and do her laundry as well. Honestly, it's kind of nice to be able to be off after a 12 hour shift, so I'm glad that I got to hand her over to the shift that came on at 6pm.
The incoming shift included an intern who's been here nearly a month and didn't have that many births. That was a bummer for her, so I was glad that she got to be first on when these ladies finally birthed. My time will come.
I observed the first birth that happened in the evening, but decided to go to bed before the second birth. Since I was pretty tired, and had only been asleep perhaps 30 minutes when the code was called (the students get paged when a birth is imminent so that they can choose to observe), I decided instead to sleep. My time will come, for sure!
Thursday is only a half day of appointments, and then the clinic gets thoroughly cleaned and restocked by the interns. We were very busy cleaning, sterilizing instruments, making gauze packs for sterilization. It was hot and sweaty work, but also satisfying to tidy everything up, make sure there is enough paper towels, tissues, and ky stocked in all the rooms.
Back to the intern house after the shift for some dinner and bonding with the girls. I think it's important to bond with the other interns, because sometimes this work is hard, and we have to be a team. We have to work together, regardless of how tired, stressed, overwhelmed, or cranky we are. Having a little fun together is priceless team building.