Thursday, December 4, 2014

Catching Babies: Doctors and Nurses and Midwives…oh my!

Ah October. The temperature drops with the leaves on the trees, rain washes in, the wind blows harder and the nights get darker. The delivery rate has dropped and we all take a big sigh of relief. And, this October at least, half the hospital staff decide it’s time to have a baby. Truthfully, I’ve been away for most of this month doing my other job so it seems to me that the delivery numbers have gone from OH MY GOD to OK THEN in a blink. I missed the gradual decline. Now it seems that every second patient is a nurse or doctor, this is unusual. It’s like nine months ago there was a party I wasn’t (thankfully) invited to or that the staff newsletter had a two for one offer on maternity care.

It’s probably wrong but looking after someone with any kind of medical treatment is on my list of Things I Don’t Enjoy Doing. Nowhere near the top mind you cos this job has certainly introduced me to many, many things that I don’t like doing. They are hard work, no matter the speciality they work in, in fact it’s worse if they haven’t done any training in maternity. It makes everything you do that bit more fraught, from putting in drips to taking them to the operating theatre. It makes you anxious in case you screw anything up because they are mostly going to know you screwed it up, this adds to the pressure of making sure everything goes well. Then there is the knowledge factor. They know just enough to think they know enough. Maternity is a speciality, there are differences. Losing 500mls of blood when you’re pregnant is different from losing 500mls of blood at any other time. If you lose that amount of blood during any other time it’s a major haemorrhage. But there are also similarities. It’s really hard to reassure someone that they will be fine in those circumstances when they know the risks involved.

This month though, almost everyone behaved themselves while I was there. No major dramas, no big highs or lows. It’s been nice for a change that there was nothing especially memorable to write on this blog. The most memorable thing that happened was the night I looked after a woman in labour wearing a ‘dip me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians’ t-shirt and her partner with the badly covered-up white supremacy tattoo and even they were no problem. Let’s hope the rest of the year proves to be as restful…but I’m not holding my breath.

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