Newborns and their mothers

Lately I’ve been getting down on the thought of working independently as a health care provider. I don’t know how I’m gonna manage the push to see more patients and limiting visits to 15 minutes. I’ve been feeling the mental and physical toll of caring for my patients.

The other day I spent an hour coaching a mom to hand express breastmilk and syringe feed her underweight newborn. It was so rewarding to provide her the personal care and support a new mom needs. I won’t have the time to do that once I am licensed to practice independently. I will need to rush through the visit or make patients wait.
On the other hand I can see that I am needed, and I crave to have my own patient panel. I have so much more to learn, but my nursing experience has taught me to listen to my patient and withhold judgment.
When yesterday a mother of a preemie newborn called and rescheduled for 2 weeks later, everyone assumed she was a bad parent. Even though she’s only 21, this was her 4th kid and 3rd premie. I withheld my judgment and we were able to get her a taxi to come to the clinic with two of her other kids for that same day. My preceptor assumed the baby would not be gaining weight well and would need close follow up. I was optimistic and said “who knows, maybe she wasn’t worried because baby is doing well.” As it turns out baby gained weight better at home with breast milk than in the hospital with formula supplementation and was progressing marvelously. My preceptor couldn’t believe it and got another weight. I see how the doubt and lack of confidence in our underserved patient population can have negative effects on the visit. Perhaps I am too naive, but I believe in my patients and hope I can instill confidence in the parents to do a good job.

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