Beryle Roach (first year PA student, Class of 2018) goes through her experience working in a labour and delivery unit during her longitudinal placement.
What LP did you do?
This LP was in the Labour and Delivery Unit at McMaster Children's Hospital.
How did you go about contacting and arranging the LP?
Like most teaching hospitals, many of the departments at Mac have a specific individual in charge of scheduling learners. A classmate happened to have the contact information for this OB/GYN individual, I sent her an email and had my first shift scheduled within the week!
What were the two main things you learned from the LP?
The most exciting thing I learned was through observing a scheduled C-section; watching the procedure allowed me to see which professions were involved, roles in the OR, how the procedure is performed, and next steps for baby and mom.
I also learned more about the complex role of health care in child birth, and just how many different specialties (e.g. generalist OB/GYN, nursing, PAs, maternal and fetal medicine, thrombosis) can be involved in the care of any given patient.
What do you wish you had known beforehand to help you in your LP?
Looking back, I wish I had known more about the reproductive process as a whole and what the most common complications of pregnancy/birth are.
How has this experience helped you clinically, in class and/or in career decision-making?
Overall, my time in Labour and Delivery was a wonderful experience that not only honed my knowledge of specific topics like child birth and reproductive health, but also of the inter-professional network that must exist for hospitals to provide comprehensive care to their patients. Furthermore, I was able to gain some valuable skills in terms of the medical interview and building a relationship with patients.