Midwifery School: Week 2

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Aaand, there goes week 2. When you only have class three days a week, things fly pretty quick…add to that the fact that you’re on 12-week quarters, and well, I can start to see how people say the two years to graduation is over in a blink.

Quick recap of major take-homes for this week:

Advanced Pathophysiology:
Neural regulation! Who knew I could get so excited about the brain? I had to admit to my professor last week that I wasn’t really looking forward to it, but afterwards, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Partly, it’s her lecture-style–super engaging and dynamic. She broke down gated protein channels and synapse physiology really well…and for the first time, I think I really understand how Ca++ gated protein channels work, and why sodium channels generally lead to an excitatory effect and chlorine channels and inhibitory effect.

Another surprise was how much I enjoyed the textbook reading…Guyton and Hall’s Medical Physiology was a pleasure to read: clear, concise, not too dry, but good level of detail. I’m looking forward to next week, when we delve into cellular regulation and dysregulation: cell injury, protein synthesis, and gene function are all reading topics on the list for this weekend.

Reproductive Health Care Management:
As I mentioned in my last post, this week’s topic was breast health…and whoooeee, we flew through that lecture at breakneck speed. We covered the basics of breast cancer screening and imaging, risk factors, different biopsy types…then moved into non-cancerous problems, like fibroademas, cysts, etc. It was a LOT of information…but when I looked around the room, I could tell all the midwifery students were just soaking it in. I still haven’t had time to read all the articles yet, but the biggies, were, of course, the 2009 US Preventive Services Task Force Guidelines for breast cancer screening.

I’m excited this weekend to go back and do more reading from my Physical Examination text, as well as the Lentz Comprehensive Gynecology textbook. On the docket for next week? STI’s and Vulvovaginitis (!!!!!).

Health Assessment & Physical Diagnosis:
Well…this was a pretty humbling week in this class and lab. I’m still processing the lecture part of it and anticipate a blog post soon…but in the meantime, I’ll share that in lab, we paired off and did full health histories with each other. Our fancy new simulation center is set up with a hallway of exam rooms that look just like any clinical room, complete with table, chairs, sinks, supplies and a computer with Epic. We went in with an outline for a full health history and were expected to complete all components within a half hour. The kicker? We’re video recorded throughout. Our “patient” will write a peer eval on us, and we’ll use the video to help write up our history that we turn in. It was an eye-opening experience…who knew asking questions could be so hard?

But to do so methodically, so as not to miss information, or bias the answer, is another art altogether. Add to that wanting to get as much info as possible while still being timely…it’s amazing, really, that we get anything done in a 20 minute visit at all. We got great feedback from our instructors and as much as I HATE watching videos of myself, I think it will be a useful learning tool as I continue to develop my skill as an advanced practice provider. Next week, we start cycling through body systems, beginning with skin, hair, nails, lymph, head & neck. Guess what I’ll be reading this weekend? More Bates!!

Concepts for Advanced Practice Nursing:
This week we completed an online forum post on the role of the DNP-prepared advanced practice nurse. I have to be honest, online forums aren’t really my cup of tea…but I did appreciate the chance to write a little bit about why I’m going the DNP route and how I think it will help me in my professional quest to effectively advocate for improved nursing education around reproductive health. We read a bit about the history of doctorate nursing education and various roles that DNP’s can take in clinical practice, leadership, business, informatics, etc.

I feel like there’s still a lot I’m learning about the DNP, but I’m excited to find ways to shape my DNP year into a set of learning opportunities that will get me closer to being an abortion provider. Next week our forum post will focus on the first section of Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks…lots of interesting conversations of ethics in that book, for sure.

And that wraps up Week 2! Next week we have our first Repro Health Lab, in which we’ll do our first pelvic exams. I feel like that first exam is a bit of a right of passage…and I want to be as prepared as I can for that experience. I’m so grateful for the models who so graciously offer to participate in our learning…it’s an incredible gift.

What are you all learning/reading/thinking about this week?

Enjoy your weekend, all, and see you next week!

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One thought on “Midwifery School: Week 2

  1. Love The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks! Great read and very interesting. I’m currently knee deep in micro and A&P, both online. Its busy but fun!

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