Quote from Baby Catcher
I think 14 months on a unit is an adequate exchange for a 3 month orientation. I'm curious why you left midwifery. I plan to start a CNM program soon and I was wondering what your life as a midwife was like. There is so much negative stuff in the news about employment right now.
Baby Catcher...I loved being a midwife most of the time. The hours could be absolutely grueling. My average week was over 50, and some "time off" was spent simply recovering. With each passing year, I saw more patients in a day, and delivered more babies in a year. I left the greatest midwifery job - 8 CNMs, great salary, I was the director, was there 10 years.. I don't regret it(being a midwife), it is an integral part of who I am (I believe some women are natural-born midwives). Managed care and malpractice issues have really put a damper on the profession. We are dispensable to our employing physicians when things get tight. There are currently 5 CNMS working as labor and delivery nurses at the hospital I practiced in. I know of several others in different types of nursing positions, some working as NPs only. Soon after I left my group (big stable HMO), the other large CNM group at the hospital was laid off. Jobs are hard to come by, and good jobs are very rare. My nurse-midwifery program just sent cards out to alumni asking us to help recruit students. When I applied there were 60-70 applicants for 16 slots. They can't even get students!!
I have worked closely with CRNAs for years and have always admired the profession, and it seems that most are very happy with their jobs.
The best analogy I have is that it is like a marriage - very much in love for many years, we both grew and changed, and it was simply time to move on. I craved learning something new, I love physiology, pharmacology, being in the O.R. There are many forces, large and small that set forth this huge change for me. It is hard to articulate, but it feels right to me.
I would never discourage anyone who felt drawn to midwifery from going to school. Nothing would have stopped me, I was 22 and headstrong. I do have concerns about the future for CNMs and the jobs are not plentiful, but that does not mean that you can't find your niche. It IS a challenge to practice "true midwifery" these days. When you have 5 patients in labor at one time, you just cannot be there for everyone, and it is very draining. Women will continue to demand midwifery care, that is the one thing about midwifery that I can say with utter confidence. Thanks for your input, and good luck.