First of all, thank you for all the discussion on this board. As a nursing student, I look forward to the voices, stories, and ideas in this particular section of all nurses more than any other! I'm a BSN student (career change from research biology) and the CNM work you all discuss here really speaks to me.
For one, part of my drive to change careers is to empower others about their health, I very much see that in the work of CNM.
Second, the biologist in me is totally fascinated by development - It seems CNM's think a lot about prenatal/birth/post-partum development as a natural and really important (with lots of critical events) process for the child, and then on the flipside as a natural and biological (and cultural) process for the mother. My prior work was in genetics and development, so I do think there is some carry over - certainly not in practice but in theory, background, etc etc. The idea of natural progressions and the importance of sequences of developmental events, critical periods, and necessary factors. I love the complexity of the process, and the way that biology orchestrates new organisms. It's nerdy I'm sure, but I think these things are very special/neat areas of science to get to think about.
There also seems something more, I guess, "ecological" about the way I hear midwives discussing child-bearing, and I like that. It appeals to me both as what I would like to do as a practitioner, but also what I would like to experience as a someday-mother down the road. I've never thought about it before - but the idea of 'treat others as you would like to be treated' seems to have me wanting to be a midwife.
The idea of midwifery also calms the one worry I have about going into healthcare: I want deeply to be in healthcare, but I feel concern about the overdoing that can occur (another current thread talks about this, how it relates to intervention, and avoiding lawsuit). I'm not meaning to be a critic here - don't get me wrong - I think a lot of the medicine we can do today represents fantastic advances in technology, genetics, public health etc etc. I love technology, I love advances, I love the idea of what interventions are even remotely possible - I just also feel you have to be really really careful about intervening and enacting the whole chain of events that follows.
Midwifery seems to strike a balance that integrates the best options of modern medicine within a framework of natural-life-history-events, that directly confronts the challenge of doing enough but not too much. I think I'd feel most comfortable in a field that was open and up front with the issues of medicalizing. I'm sure many fields, actually, all, fields are like this in the right context - but I just feel it is more apparent in the midwifery field.
Now that I'm embarking on my BSN and thinking down the road about future APRN niches, I'm wondering more and more if CNM wouldn't suit me? Beyond reading, shadowing, gaining clinical experience, how does someone in the BSN phase learn more about this path?
Part of me feels like there is no further confirmation needed - that I should just set my mind gain the right experience/degrees and go for it - after all - CNMs are involved in such a momentous event - my intuition is OF COURSE I'd want to be involved in that, what a special career, how could you choose something better?
The other part of me feels like it's impossible to know your 'best fit' specialty until you gain experience in the field, so I'm skeptical of my own naive interests. Would anyone be willing to share how they, along their path realized they wanted to be a CNM? Was it after or before you were a nurse?
P.S. apologies for the long post!
Jan 31, '11
Quote from mahanabay
Now that I'm embarking on my BSN and thinking down the road about future APRN niches, I'm wondering more and more if CNM wouldn't suit me? Beyond reading, shadowing, gaining clinical experience, how does someone in the BSN phase learn more about this path? !
Read "The Baby Catcher".
Feb 1, '11
While obtaining your BSN, you will have your OB lecture and clinical. That is when and where I knew I wanted to become a CNM. Shadowing a CNM will be the only way as of yet for you to see what they really do on a day to day basis.
Feb 2, '11
Thank you for your suggestions - getting The Baby Catcher from the Library
I AM looking forward to my OB lecture/clinical. Can't wait.
Feb 4, '11
Also, read Ina May's Guide to Spiritual Midwifery. Both of these books go into great detail about the life of a midwife and situations they encounter. When I read these books and couldn't put them down, all the while thinking this is how labor should be, I knew I would love being a midwife!