Region IV had an active winter season. We held retreats, dinners coupled with CEU events, and affiliate meetings. We gathered information in preparation for the ACNM Annual Meeting & Exhibition when we will recognize Clinical Stars and honor those who have been in midwifery service for a milestone number of years. This Region IV update, however, will focus on our students – their passion for midwifery and their need for our support. Thank you to the many midwives and midwifery services who are already welcoming, precepting, and mentoring our amazing students.
Our students’ love of the midwifery model of care is powerful and infectious. They are excited about working in their communities and changing how health care for women is delivered. To achieve their dreams, they need our guidance. I ask those of you who can, please become a preceptor for a student midwife or, perhaps, even two. You will most likely get as much (or more) out of the mentoring relationship as your students do. Most importantly, you will make a significant and greatly appreciated impact on their lives and careers.
Mentors on our Journey
We all remember those who helped us along our journey. We remember our first thoughts of wanting to become a midwife (thank you for encouraging me Sabina Dambrauskas, CNM); our first days of classes (some of my professors were Dr. Joyce Roberts, Dr. Jan Engstrom, Dr Betty Schlatter); our nervousness about exams, quizzes, and balancing life demands with trying to get the most out of our education. We remember our first clinic days (mine were with Betty Schlatter, PhD, CNM and Nancy Graham, CNM), our first birth (mine was with Elyse Flanagan Hall, CNM), and learning to tie knots for suturing (for me, practicing on a desk handle under the watchful eye of Pat Morrow, CNM). My preceptors were there to welcome me in, support me, and guide me. In the process, they elevated my midwifery spirit and sowed the seeds for years later when these same people became my friends and colleagues at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
I encourage our students in Region IV to look at the posted ACNM Board of Directors response to the student report from the Annual Meeting and Exhibition. Thank you to Kira Schultz, ACNM Board of Directors Student Representative, for working so diligently on this robust document. Also, I encourage our students to attend your affiliate meetings and mingle, engage, and network.
For some extra inspiration and sheer enjoyment, tune in to Call the Midwife on PBS, which returns for Season 8 on March 31. We can all relate with the timeless struggles that the Nonnatus House nuns, nurses, and midwives experience.
I hope to see many of you at the ACNM Annual Meeting and Exhibition in May!