Sunday, October 24, 2010

That Would Be a Good Post

I have had many moments where I have thought "Wow, that would make such a great blog post".

Like the time when a postpartum nurse called me to let me know that a patient's H&H was 6.something. So I ask for vital signs, previous CBC results, and symptoms the patient was experiencing if any. The nurse had none of these things readily available. Hello! You are my eyes and ears Nurse. You gotta give me some info.

So what's been going on? I'm burned out. That's what is going on. I'm so done. I'm tired of my employer and his idiotic and disrespectful management. I left the office an hour early one day (after insuring that someone else would see my last patient if she showed up). Now mind you, leaving early is a once in a blue moon kinda thing. I was informed a couple days later that if I did that again, I would be charged an hour of PTO. This tempts me to keep a running tally of all the times I stay late, work through lunch, come in to help out, etc. What an ass.

I am so burned out that I am thinking about leaving midwifery, or at least trying to find aother job. I would rather be a 'medwife' than deal with the struggle I am dealing with now. We are expected to provide the midwifery model of care in a medical environment. I'm so tired of all the fighting the fight and not really getting anywhere.

I am going back to school to learn another specaialty cause I am so done. I have worked as a CNM for three years now. I would have never thought I would burn out this fast.


AtYourCervix said...

Hang in there Ciarin! Perhaps a new employer/environment might be best?

eulogos said...

I got an Error 503 notice the last time, so if this is a duplicate, sorry.

I so hope you don't stop being a midwife. From these stories I think it is pretty clear that some women have had good births because you were their midwife, who otherwise might not have.

How about taking a good long relaxing vacation before you decide?
Susan Peterson

Anonymous said...

You aren't MY midwife, but I do have to thank you for being there for women. And yes, take a vacation if you need to!

My midwife gave me my best birth, I was in the most control, my husband was not treated like an IV stand. It was a great experience, and I would be sad to think my midwife was not taking care of herself...her family. Please know we women appreciate the work you midwives do for us. Bless you.

Ciarin said...

I think that's a possibility - trying to follow up on some leads!

Ciarin said...

Susan - I think a long vacation is in order no matter what! I've got some more frequent getaways planned over the next 6 months so would have to wait for a long vacation :p I had decided that I needed to have more frequent time off.

Ciarin said...

Anonymous - thanks for making me cry :p

Anonymous said...

Glad to offer encouragement...came back to see if you'd gotten other encouraging comments. My midwife actually did apologize for going on vacation just before my baby was born. Funny, she was out of town on my due date so my baby decided to be born the day she got back. In fact, three of us all had babies on her day back. It was busy, but she had a week off so hopefully she wasn't too stressed. That's midwife love for ya! Really glad you've decided to take a vacation. I know that I'm a lot less nervous to birth in a hospital ever again because my midwife was there for me. (I've had 7 births by the I know a good one when I experience it!). Please know women do appreciate you, and do what you need to do. I read you because I found atyourcervix after a miscarriage...and then through a terrible hospital birth with a bad nursie (and OB's who didn't care enough to be there with me...but are good at what they do just not able to be a midwife). Your blog was one of the midwife blogs I've read that encouraged me to switch over to a midwife last time.

Another CNM said...

I wish I could say more than "I feel you" or "hang in there." I've only been practicing for a year and I find myself increasingly frustrated with trying to practice midwifery in a medical model. It seems like everything is a fight...and I feel like I didn't sign up for a fight! My partner has been practicing for 3 years now and is completely burnt out. I'm worried about her. We do 50% call, which is dragging both of us down (although she did 100% for 2 years with a small child at home).

It is a really tough job. It would be lovely if I had a great office staff and supportive nurses at L&D (if I hear one more thing about how waterbirths are "gross" from the nurses...). I try to keep the memories of the really fantastic births top of mind and remember that those births are why I do this.

You *are* making a difference in women's lives.

Anonymous said...

Your impact is immeasurable. IMMEASURABLE. The posts above really attest to that. If all your patients got wind of this, you'd have them lining up at your door and you would be absolutely overwhelmed with their love for you. The burnout would still be there, but I bet your wanting to give up would not be.

I would HIGHLY encourage you to branch out and try a different type of practice or setting before you make a big decision to chuck it all. That being said, sometimes it takes chucking it all to end up fighting for what we love.

Midwives have been fighting this same battle for a 100 years. Read biographies of those who had to fight through what you are going through...they can be inspirational and help you feel less alone in the struggle.

You are amazingly gifted.

pinky said...

Perhaps a long vacation or a time doing something else would help. I tell you, having taken some time off has really helped my burn out.

Anonymous said...

Ciarin: I'm so sorry you're burned out. You've had a difficult year with your husband being so ill and that has to be a contributing factor to being tired and burned out. How is he by the way?


Lisa said...

Beautiful and tragic video. Thank you so much for posting. I've seen the hard work, the disrespect and (sometimes) abuse that midwives get...from the medical community, and yes, even from other nurses. Occasionally I have a student say she wants to be a CNM; I always encourage her, but inside, I cringe, because I know how hard it will be.

Ebonee said...

I am so sorry that you are feeling burned out. As a social worker (for only 3 years) I can understand that feeling. I came into the the field wanting to help everyone and have quickly found out that this is impossible. Everyone cannot be pleased.

I am not a CNM (though I AM applying to grad school to be one!) but I appreciate your honesty about the profession. I hope you decide to seek other employment. From books and blogs I have read (especially yours), midwifery seems like an exceptionally selfless and giving profession and I pray that you reconsider walking away from what inspires you and what you love to do. :)

maroc said...