I've been in healthcare for 15 years. I have seen quite a bit, met all sorts of people, and learned a lot. When I first started my journey into patient care I was 19. I didn't know shit, but I realized that I enjoyed working in this industry. I liked learning about the human body and how it works. I continued to work in the hospital setting as a patient care technician while I went to nursing school. I remember going into class thinking I was hot shit, I knew tons about patient care, had years of hands on experience, or at least that's what I thought. As I neared the end of my education and was about to start my role as a nurse I realized how little I actually knew. I had a new found respect for nurses.
The first year as a nurse is nerve racking. Your goal each shift is to not fuck up cause your mistakes can have a very negative impact. Once you have your skills down, that's when you start to look at other aspects of your job. This is when you have the capability to learn more about patient care than just tasks or skills. Here is when your role as a compassionate nurse can begin.
What does it mean to be a compassionate nurse? When you walk in the door you must leave behind the outside world. You have to be able to care for others when they are unable to care for themselves. You must let go of prejudice, preconceived notions, and opinions of others. You learn that every person that walks through the door has their own path and journey that led them to you. These skills are priceless.
My job as a doula started similarly as my job as a nurse. I had to learn the tools, tricks of the trade, and skills to make me an efficient doula, but I didn't need to be taught how to be compassionate. I didn't need to be taught how to care for others beyond just the physical comfort measures. Caring for others was a skill set I already had, and something I am very good at.
As the owner of Atlanta Birth Doula I have high expectations of the birth workers on our site. I expect them to provide quality care to their clients. I expect them to provide more than just the physical comfort measures. I expect them to be intelligent, have critical thinking skills, know their trade skills, and provide compassionate care because this is what I expect of myself.
I encourage anyone and everyone who is considering hiring a birth worker to be a part of their journey to follow their gut instincts. Hire the person who doesn't just have the skill set but the person they connect. I have confidence in my doulas to provide those things. Not every doula is for every person, but chances are one of my doulas is the right person for you.