Melanie Bryant was the name, now Melanie Fox. I am a Labor and Delivery nurse working in a rural community hospital. I am the charge nurse on 3rd shift..the shift where the fun stuff happens..and im not talking about IV pole races down the hall way.
June 18, 2005
I returned to work to find that a student from the local university would like to work 3rd shift and shadow me. This is a fairly good opportunity for me seeing how my long term goal is to teach maternal/newborn health at the university level (kids would go to school for free!) The nursing students were on our unit last semester and I was told by thier instructor that she would love to write me a recommendation into the program. I am just not ready yet. I do enjoy working with the young girls though, such an impressionable age. I believe we don't really know what we are getting into until we are out of school looking for that first job. It really hits you the first time you are alone for your first delivery, or the first time you start an IV on a woman who contracts every 2 minutes and is scared. You slowly begin to get very comfortable doing what you have done before ...and then it feels like the whole picture fits. I don't leave work wondering if this is what I am supposed to be doing..I know it is. I only hope every nurse feels that way.
Oh yeah, I wanted to tell a short story about sean, kelly and max.
My mother in law usually doesnt drop names, and I am usually waking up when they come over for dinner...so I barely remembered her metioning this last name to me. I was leaving work at 7am and looked at the name of the woman who was coming to have her baby induced that day. It seemed familiar and I thought..well..I will ask them when I take care them tonight...after the baby was born. Almost all inductions are started at 8am and deliver long before 11pm..when I come on.
I came in at 1045pm and one of my favorite perdiem nurses told me that I had "to take the labor in room 253" because they were "awesome". There was another labor on the floor and I had a choice..I took 253. It was the same family that I had recognized. I was concerned now..."How come she hasn't delivered yet?" ( a nurse always wants to know what our chances of going to the OR are). The other nurse says "Well, she wasn't started until 10am and she just started dilating, she is 5 cm and comfortable with 'the block'." I was ok with that and confident that she would progress....I went to meet her and her family. She had her husband and her mother with her and I felt an instant comfort with this family. They were sensitive and humorous and she was all smiles and pain free right now.
I suddenly remembered my mother in law and the name she may have said and took a chance that they could fill the rest in. Well, to my suprise they could. Kelly (the mother to be) is best friends with my husbands only cousin and is in her wedding this september. Grandma to be knows my in-laws and thier family very well. We all were elated by this one degree of separtation and infact were excited to see each other again at the shower and wedding.
Kelly had had a long day and took 13 hours to get to 5cm. I showed up at 11pm and she was fully dilated by midnight. Max was born after 30 minutes of amazing pushing and kelly and sean couldn't have done it better. I was emotional for this one. It was a pleasure to take care of such a "with it" family and they were so amazing with the whole new parent thing right away. Sean and Kelly confided in me that they believe it was supposed to happen that way..and I want to believe that too!
The funny part about it (for me) is that they all thanked me so much, and I continue to explain to them that I am the thankful one. People like that make it too easy to enjoy your job. The new grandmother even sent my mother in law a long letter expressing her gratitude and how "fortunate" she is to have such a caring daughter in law...aw shucks.
Im telling you folks.....when its good....it's good...
July 09, 2004
June 11, 2004
The midwives only have 2 1/2 more weeks at our hospital and then we are down to just 4 doctors. This is going to be bad news for us in the long run and I can only hope that the Doctors decide to change their minds in the near future. They have to approve midwife based practices because they become ultimately responsible for intended normal births that need invasive care. When a midwife patient needs a c/s, the Doctor has to perform the surgery. In my state, there is a shortage of Doctors willing to do this. In other states there are many practices with 3 midwives to one Doctor. It just doesn't make sense.
I just purchased a house...Im stuck here!! On a lighter note, Doctors perform many more episiotomies than the CNM's (cert. nurse midwife) Ok..I tricked you..it wasn't a lighter note!! Until the next time..
May 20, 2004
There are the type of women who have no choice..they come in ready to deliver (8cm or more). Then there are the women who are just plain good! I firmly believe that your mind is the most important "muscle" to use in labor. I once had a woman chant "row, row, row your boat" through each contraction, or music, or humming..whatever works for them. Warm baths and jello with friends..that one was fun. There are the girls that put themselves somewhere else and that becomes very amusing..."the hiking path in rockville..the big tree..climing the tree...sun is shining..." I start to feel like I am almost there. I love this job.
When do you know its time for medication?
Ohh..thats a good one. I have several theories on that question. First of all, if you resemble linda blair in the exorscist..then its time for medication. I mean that with all the humor I can display through my blog. Second, some women just need a little IV medication to "take the edge off". All women have different pain thresholds and one can never tell until your there. The women who tend to say "oh no, here comes another one..I cant , I cant..." are going to need extra support. We have a wonderful medication called the "sufenta block" and it works for approx. three hours. It does wonders when women get it at 5cm. Epidurals are common for first time moms, they can deliver medication through the entire labor, regardless of length. They do tend to "weaken" eventually.
I also use the tear factor. When a woman begins to fear her contractions and tears start coming..its time for medication. It is always good to have an IV put in when you get to the hospital in labor. You can ask to have a "hep lock" so you can walk around with out tubes connected to you. When you get back to bed the nurse can connect the hep lock to fluid and give you medication when you need it. If you have this put in when you first get there then you wont have to be "stuck" again when you are really in pain. I let my patients shower with the hep lock in. It is important as a nurse to know I can give her IV fluid or medication easily if needed.
I have rambled enough...good night
May 17, 2004
We have settled our contract and I have decided to stay at my hospital and see it through it's rough times right now. I have been asked to take hold of a new program we have enlisted in. We are now part of a national stillborn study and we have a lot of work to do to get ready to participate. This will keep me occupied at work.
In life. I have looked at 12 houses in 5 days and let me tell you that this sucks..big time. I live in Rhode Island and for all of you who are not familiar with real estate in new england..it sucks, sucks, sucks. Houses that would cost 100,000 in any other state in the country cost 250,000 here. It is absolutely ridiculous and it forces me to ask myself why I am living here! I have my family and friends here. People love this state so much that the houses are mostly being purchased by people out of state. This is a problem in the long term. Our schools are being paid for by people who only live here in the summer. Their children don't attend our schools and now they don't want to pay taxes for that particular reason. Not to mention that taxes in this state are at a national high. Let me also include that as a nurse, RI is the 48th in the country for medical reimbursement costs. That means that 47 other states are reimbursed more money for the same procedure. This country has some interesting ways of doing things!!
Deep breath. We also found out that I may need to take fertility drugs in order to get pregnant, which means that we could have twins right off the bat. That's a lot to digest, we decided to wait a month or two.
This is why my labor and delivery stories have been few and far between lately. I am working for the next 3 nights so..im sure more stories will come.
May 12, 2004
May 11, 2004
I suppose this is what makes the world of nursing go around. I dont mind taking care of a 3.5lb baby, others wouldnt go near that with a 10foot pole. I hate dialysis, my friend scott loves it.
I am not getting what I want from my current job and so I have applied for other postions. The only one I really wanted was not given to me and infact given to someone with much less experience than me..no labor and delivery experience to be exact. But you need to hear this wonderful rationalization..ok..here I go....
I believe in Kharma..and I know that this happened for a reason. I was going to take a big chance by leaving but it was going to be in the same field but second shift. (Im growing tired of third). I will now work perdiem for the new hospital and get my feet in the door. My mission is to show them what a good nurse I am and slip me in to the next second shift position. I also have some seniority at my current hospital. I am trying to get pregnant myself and also trying to buy a house. I may try to eliminate some of my goals. It seems to be a bit overwhelming. Until then...babies will still come at my hospital.