It's National Nurses Week!
We would like to take a moment to acknowledge the very important roles nurses have - they truly are the heart of the medical team.
Our area OB nurses, labor and delivery nurses, and pediatric nurses are patient, kind, caring, supportive, and compassionate; the best Iowa has to offer.
They absolutely love their job and it shows.
In honor and celebration of this special week, we took some time to interview some fantastic nurses in the Cedar Valley. We at Northeast Iowa Doulas are so grateful for the opportunity to work alongside such wonderful hospital staff, while caring for and supporting our clients.
Thank you for always welcoming us to be part of the birth team and thank you for all you do.
Don't forget to thank a nurse this week!
We had the pleasure of interviewing Bethany Anderson. She is a labor and delivery nurse at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo. I would like to share a little bit about my very first experience with Bethany.
My laboring client, her partner, and I had walked into the room to find Bethany standing there waiting for us. She greeted us with a big smile, introduced herself and immediately said,
"I am so happy to see you have a doula! I love doulas."
"Do you have a birth plan? I love birth plans."
And she truly meant it.
It was an amazing experience working alongside Bethany, from beginning to end. Our clients have had nothing but wonderful things to say about Bethany and the care she has provided them during one of the most momentous occasions of their lives.
NEID-Kaity: How long have you been a nurse? Where did you attend school?
Bethany: I have been a nurse for just over 4 years. I completed my General Education classes at Hawkeye Community College and then Graduated from Allen College School of Nursing in December 2012. I then became a labor and delivery nurse in March of 2013.
NEID-Kaity: What inspired you to become a nurse?
Bethany: Being a nurse is something I've known I wanted to do since I was a child. There was never a question in my mind of what I was meant to do in my life. I am a third generation nurse. As a child I spent a lot of time at my Grandma Phyllis' house, who was a labor and delivery nurse for 19 years, and so she always had a lot of stories to tell and we would always watch labor and delivery shows on tv together. She continues to be my inspiration every day, and her picture will always stay on my locker at work.
NEID-Kaity: What do you enjoy most about being a L&D nurse?
Bethany: The best part of my job is getting to be part of my patient's story. Everyone that I encounter while I'm at work are in the middle of a huge life shift, and I get to be part of it. I get to watch women become mommies, and men become daddies. I get to watch children become big brothers and sisters, and parents become grandparents. I get to guide people through the most exciting moments in their lives. I get to watch women be in the most painful moment in their lives, and then conquer it. I get to watch the reactions of parents who find out the gender of their baby. I feel I'm pretty blessed to be able to spend my days guiding others in the most exciting moments of their lives.
NEID-Kaity: What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?
Bethany: The worst part of my job is bringing angels into the world. It's something that will never be easy. It will never be easy to see a mommy leave the hospital without her baby. I can't imagine the pain that comes with losing a child, so all I hope to be is a friendly hand, or a sturdy shoulder. If that's the only difference I can make, that's good enough for me.
NEID-Kaity: More expecting parents in the area are hiring out the professional labor/birth support services of a doula. How do you feel about that?
Bethany: Working with doulas is wonderful for me! Doulas are so helpful and supportive, and I think that when a woman is in the most trying moments in her life, she can never have too much support!
NEID-Kaity: What is one thing you always say to laboring/birthing women?
Bethany: "This is temporary. It won't last forever. It won't be this painful forever. It's only today. It's only right now."
I try to encourage and empower every woman. I think women tend to look at labor as a whole and think "there's no way I can do that" but I like to tell my patients to take one contraction at a time, one moment at a time. I think that when a woman is in labor, you have to take each case in itself. The only thing that I try to be is supportive, regardless of my patients choices. If my patient chooses an epidural over natural childbirth or bottle feeding over breast feeding, I support her all the way.
NEID-Kaity: What advice would you give to an expecting parent as they are approaching their due date?
Bethany: My biggest advice for someone nearing their due date would be to educate yourself on your options, so you know what you want. Also, I try to tell my patients to really enjoy the last moments before their families grow, before all their energy goes towards this new little one.
NEID-Kaity: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Bethany: In my spare time I like to spend time with my 5 month old son, my husband, my nephews, and my family. I also like to play volleyball, and knit or crochet when I have time.
NEID-Kaity: What is your favorite food?
Bethany: My favorite food is any type of dessert with chocolate, caramel or peanut butter!
NEID-Kaity: Do you have a favorite memory of being at work that you would like to share?
Bethany: I have many great memories about my days at work, but my craziest delivery has to be an unplanned, very fast vaginal breech delivery for a first time mom of a healthy baby boy! My heart has never beat faster!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me, Bethany. You are amazing and each one of your patients are so lucky to have you as their nurse. We look forward to working with you again soon.
Happy National Nurses Week to you!