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Convention Stories

Author : Mary Ann Tucker Date : Oct 11, 2016

It's convention time again! This is my fifth convention and I am so grateful that UK Healthcare allows me the time to attend. As always, the open session sets me up for a week of feeling empowered and that I can change the world of obstetrics.

Then, I go home and get a dose of reality that not everyone else is ready to make that change. 

The first general session was an amazing speaker Virginia Beeson on resilience. My first thought was this is amazing timing for me. I have just finished my MSN in May (woohoo!) and my final project was implementing quantitative blood loss into practice. It was an amazing opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team to improve patient outcomes. However, this also gave me the opportunity to see how people deal with change. How do they deal with change? Not well. The more progress that was made with the project, the more the complaints came. By the time it came to go live with quantifying blood loss I found myself completely over it. I found it so hard to deal with all the complaints. I had explained over and over why this was so important, the impact this could have on our patients, and reminded staff how bad it was when we began our baby-friendly journey. Also now that we have achieved baby friendly (1 year ago) how proud we are. I had no more energy and even had brief thoughts wondering if getting my MSN in leadership worth it. How could I deal with this much negativity?

I wondered how in the world do managers deal with staff and all the complaints and still come to work every day.

So, today came and Virginia Beeson spoke about seven habits to be resilient. One of those habits is passion. Why do I do what I do? AWHONN president Suzanne and Virginia Beeson shared their stories of why they became nurses and chose their specialties. Like them, I have my story of why I chose to be an obstetrical nurse. When I applied to nursing school I actually wanted to be an ER or OR nurse. There was no way I wanted to be an OB nurse. My thought on OB was screaming women and I wanted no part of it. Then came the summer before I began nursing school. My sister was pregnant and everything was going perfectly until 24 weeks and her water broke. She was rushed to the university hospital an hour away. This was a scary time for our family with the thoughts of a baby being born at 24 weeks. Luckily, my sister did not deliver immediately. She stayed in the hospital and made it five more weeks before delivering at 29 weeks.

During this time I stayed with my sister at the hospital while her husband was at work. I watched nurses not only care for my sister but calm her fears when the baby didn't look the best, her NSTs, and her many trips between the labor and deliver unit and the antepartum unit. One nurse even took the time to teach my sister how to play Yahtzee. The nurses made such a difference in my sister's five week hospital stay. From that moment I knew I wanted to be an OB nurse.

So why do I do what I do? I want to make a difference in my patients’ lives the way the nurses that took care of my sister made a difference in her life and mine. I may not always remember my patients but I know they will remember me forever and the experience they had when having their baby. I want to give them the best experience possible, for them to know that I was there for them, to cheer them on when they thought they could no longer do it, and to be their shoulder to lean on. I still get so excited every time I see a baby born and I still shed a tear when I see a dad crying when their baby enters the world. When that stops, that's when it may be time to move but right now OB is my passion. My passion will help me become resilient along with the other habits discussed by Virginia Beeson I will not let the complaints bring me down and give up on the job I love!

Thanks AWHONN for what I am sure will be another inspiring convention and I will once again leave feeling like I will change the world!


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