Saturday, December 6, 2008

Job Shadow

Yesterday was a big day! I had the opportunity to job shadow with a certified-nurse midwife (CNM) in Presque-Isle, ME. She was incredibly gracious and generous with her time. After all, she certainly didn't have to accept to have me tag along with her all day, but with her clients' permission, I was able to sit and observe prenatals, consultations and general GYN appointments.

It was a pretty normal day, no unusual cases, nothing tragic or out of the ordinary. I don't think I learned anything new as far as care, but we did spend some time talking legality and schooling. Up until now, a midwife hasn't had to have a Masters degree to practice in Maine. In 2010, new midwives will have to have the extra schooling. Most states are starting to adopt that rule, and I'm not sure about Canada. A CPM doesn't have a Masters, and not necessarily a Bachelors, either. It all comes down to where I would want to practice.

If we go to Newlife, then I'd be able to get my associate's degree, possibly a bachelors. That would make me a CPM, provided I pass the NARM exam. This would limit me as to where I can practice. The laws are up in the air in NB right now, so I have no idea what I would need to practice here. In Alberta, for example, you must be a Certified Nurse Midwife to practice - no direct entry midwives are recognized.

So - I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, there is the CPM way - more holistic, shorter, intense, practical, my style but limited in the areas I can work. On the other hand, there is the CNM way - very medical, long & drawn out, very expensive, but better chance at working almost anywhere.

Honestly, I don't know if I can take 7 years of University. That's a long, long time to be sitting behind a desk. The schools in Canada use mostly case studies and fake patients. Nothing like palpating a plastic baby in a rubber belly. And, for the expense of it, when I'm finally done with my decade long study, who's to say I won't be totally burned out but obliged to work anyway to pay off the mountain of student debt?

Grrr...I'm too tired to think about this right now. :P

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