Tag Archives: midwives

A shout out to all the ambos

It has recently come to my attention that paramedics don’t always have the highest opinion of nurses. I don’t know why they think so poorly of us. I certainly hope I’ve never offended anyone. But I think ambo’s/paramedics are bloody fantastic!

They have one of the hardest jobs in the world. First on the scene to car accidents, assaults, heart attacks, drug overdoses, drownings. If you can think of it, they’ve probably done it. Us nurses and midwives have the luxury of back up, we have our colleagues, other nurses and midwives, doctors, psychologists and even security when we need them. We also have all the equipment. Those awesome humans also known as paramedics don’t have any of that. They’re on their own, dealing with things we could only imagine. Dealing with people who can be, in no particular order- in pain, scared, grieving, drunk, high on drugs, hurling abuse, threatening with violence, bleeding, dying, giving birth….. any, or all of the above, and they do it with very little thanks or acknowledgement.  
So from this nurse and midwife to you paramedics out there. THANK YOU….. you guys rock.

And if you happen to drop off a patient in the middle of the night to my hospital, come and say hello to me in the emergency centre. I’ll make you a cuppa. Presently, I’m the one with the black eye

Wendy xx

Things to know about midwives. Part 1

I’ve compiled a little list of things to know about midwives. Here’s part 1.

Caution, it may gross some people out!

1-We don’t always like being told we must have the “best job” in the world.
Don’t get me wrong, yes, most of us love our jobs, but those who think we have the best job don’t see all the stressful things we deal with. We see the miracle of birth, women and their families on the happiest days of their lives, but we also see people on their worst days. Woman having miscarriages, women having babies born sleeping (stillborn) and women having traumatic deliveries. Abusive patients, abusive families, it’s all part of the job. 

We also have to deal with a lot of women who are sleep deprived and more often than not, in pain. Not a good combo. (And that’s just the other midwives!)

We’ve been spat on, hit, kicked, sworn at, threatened, been covered in other women’s bodily fluids, had babies wee and poo on us. It’s not all cute babies, hugs, flowers and chocolates. As a matter of fact I forget the last time I was given a box of chocolates for caring for a woman and her baby. The only chocolates most mere midwives see, are the fundraising ones that are a permanent fixture on most wards. The Freddo frogs call out to us at 2am, begging to be eaten. Midwives must almost buy enough fundraising chocolate to fund an entire 3rd world country for a year. 
2-We aren’t all quiet and caring. 

We are caring , yes, but we cope with stress in different ways. We have to deal with some traumatic and sometimes well, pretty gross situations, all while woman are shouting some of the worst expletives known to man at us. How do we cope? With a very dark sense of humour. 

We also see more vaginas than most male porn stars do in their lifetime. Couple that with the dark sense of humour as a coping strategy and you’ve got a group of women with a vocabulary worse than a sailors and a sense of humour darker than anything you’ve ever heard. It’s very hard to offend a midwife with a dirty joke…. we’ve heard (and sometime seen) it all.

For all those partners, friends and family of midwives, as you know, mealtimes can be interesting. Never expect to eat a meal with a group of us and not hear some story that would turn the staunchest man off their food. From cutting episiotomies, explaining 3rd degree tears, stories of being soaked to the underwear in some woman’s amniotic fluid, to describing the treatment of a cord prolapse and demonstrating how far their hand was inside a woman’s vagina. All the while, we keep shovelling our food in our gobs, without batting an eye. 
3- Bodily fluids don’t bother us

Blood, sweat, amniotic fluid, urine, vomit, breast milk…..we’ve seen it all and at some time in our careers, been covered in it. If you want someone calm in an emergency, that’s us. Unless it’s more than 500ml of blood on the floor, we’re not too concerned. 

We can take blood, cannulate (put a drip in) and suture. Mind you, I don’t know how I’d go stitching up anything other than a perineum. But at a pinch I’d give it a red hot go. 

Just a note, if you ever see us in our uniforms, I wouldn’t give us a hug, or have any bodily contact with us at all. Wait until we’ve showered and scrubbed all our work away.