What a Difference a Semester Makes

I work as a labor and delivery nurse.  I love this.  It’s exactly why I became a nurse, but I’ve discovered something else I truly love.

A couple years ago I started working as a clinical nursing instructor. Each semester I get to take a group of junior level nursing students onto the Mother/Baby Unit and help them apply their classroom knowledge to real patients. Each group is with me for around seven weeks. Some of them have never picked up a baby before coming to my clinical. By the end of our time together, they hold and care for babies with a level of adeptness and confidence that astounds me. What joy!

This semester, my joy is not only in the students’ learning but also in the Baby-Friendly changes I see on my sister unit. Last semester, babies were routinely wheeled into the nursery for assessments, observation or to let the mother rest. When we would arrive in the morning, oodles of babies were in the nursery.

This semester we walk into an empty nursery. We go into the rooms to find babies in their little beds, sleeping next to their mothers or fathers. Or we walk in to see a mother gazing at her baby and saying, “I just can’t stop staring at him. I can’t believe he’s here.”  These are sacred spaces the Mother/Baby nurses have helped create.

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About blogtobabyfriendly

blogtobabyfriendly is written by Amy Murray, a Childbirth Unit nurse with a touch of earth muffin crunch. A childbirth educator and IBCLC, she's been a breastfeeding advocate all her adult life, believing that if our bodies make milk, it just makes good sense to feed it to our babies. blogtobabyfriendly is her hospital's journey to Baby-Friendly designation. Click to get email updates on new blog posts. Our desire is to learn, share, and learn more.
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3 Responses to What a Difference a Semester Makes

  1. Lisa says:

    That’s great progress. My hospital submitted its letter of intent to become baby friendly. The training requirement and budget constraints are a major obstacle for us. I’m enjoying your blog.

    I precept new nurses and really enjoy it. How did you become a clinical instructor? Do you have a masters degree?

    • Hi Lisa. Congratulations on sending your letter of intent! Progress always comes with obstacles. I’m sure you’ll find your way around them!
      I do not have my master’s degree yet. Many universities will allow a BSN to teach the clinical portion. You should look into it!

  2. Sarah says:

    What a wonderful bunch of nurses I work with everyday!! They are amazing and certainly are creating sacred spaces for their patients!! Wonderful!

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