Oh *sigh* onsite. How I love/hate thee.
This quarter, our onsite weeks are, in theory, three days long, owing to the fact that we get more of our hands-on directly from our preceptor/student clinical situations. This, however, appears to be an illusion. We had two days that exceeded 12 hours with less than a full hour break, and we had a day down in Olympia, and a final day that lasted only 8 hours. By my reckoning, not only is that FOUR days, we spent enough hours to have made it FIVE if we were going for eight hour days.
Anyway, that was a very long way to say - it was quite as strenuous as our five-day onsites, and I'm damn tired.
There were, however, some real wonderful things this week.
At Olympia on Thursday, we had our lobby day. Our legislators, it turns out, are a lot more approachable and a lot more sensible than I had imagined. Many of them were willing to take actual immediate action on our issues, particularly since we came armed with tentative language for an ammendment to a bill that has troubled midwives in the past. At issue this year (as it has been for the past four years) was licensing fees. I could, at this point, having given the pitch to no few people over the course of Thursday, ramble on about this for a good long time, but I'll let the MAWS website give a fairly succinct, if infrequently updated, summary of the issues. The study that came out of last year's push for an updated licensing law is a VERY good thing. I enjoyed Lobby Day very much, and shall be going every year from here on out. What we did need was more MIDWIVES. There was a small herd of students and a few consumers and a few people who are very involved and integrated into the community without actually practicing midwifery, but there were only four midwives and only two of them actually came and stayed all day.
What else to say about my week?
~L~ fucking rocks. She took my kids for big long chunks of six-kids-at-a-time time, and somehow managed not to die or kill any children. She didn't even maim them. It is amazing. We actually got to sit up for a little bit after the kids went to sleep on Weds night and just chat, which is something that never happens, really, since the kids are always awake and around and involved any time we get together.
NeighborS also rocks, putting in two shorter but still substantial days, which brought her contribution to 18 total hours with EIGHT CHILDREN in her house.
I missed at least one birth this onsite, which sucks. I missed a HOME birth, which I found out about pretty quickly, but I don't know if I missed any hospital births, which my preceptor will tell me about when I come in next week (or get called tonight or this weekend, since I'm back on call).
We had a newborn exam lab today, which was somewhat fun. Babies do not, however, like having their nostrils occluded one at a time to check for patency of the other nostril. The more laid-back infant one group was inspecting just kind of shook her head around and expressed some displeasure, but it sent the poor little fellow I was messing with right into conniptions. Standards be damned, I am checking as much of the newborn as humanly possible while it is still attached to its mama's breast.
And I adore my Midwifery Care instructors this quarter. The material is quite as rigorous as always, but they are very creative about games and projects and activities that are actually fun and actually benefit us. It is refreshing.