Hannah Peace (first year PA student) goes over her time doing a longitudinal placement in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN).
What LP did you do?
I participated in four days with an OB/GYN in the McMaster area and one day in Labour and Delivery with this same doctor at McMaster.
How did you go about contacting and arranging the LP?
It was recommended to me both by my advisor and our academic coordinator to contact the person who organizes these placements for our program to help me connect with local OB/GYNs. She reached out of my behalf to find an interested physician.
What were the two main things you learned from the LP?
Something that is simply bewildering that I wasn’t aware of before this placement is the fact that you can press into a pregnant woman’s “tummy” and physically feel where the head, back, feet and hands of a baby are once it becomes large enough. By showing me over and over again the process of locating a fetus, the physician helped me begin to develop a skill set in “baby finding” and subsequently, how to perform an ultrasound to listen to the heart!
After a few sessions with this physician, we built a relationship of trust and amicability! As he began to become more familiar with myself and my skill set, he let me help and eventually perform pelvic exams. This is something that can only be perfected by practicing, so having someone look out for me, my technique, and the comfort of the patient while I performed exams was unbelievably valuable.
What did you wish you knew beforehand to help you in your LP?
I wish I had saved this LP for after we had finished (or even started) the reproduction unit in class. I could have started from a more advanced position if I had waited until the summer to undertake this LP.
How has this experience helped you clinically, in class and/or in career decision making?
The very young, the very old, and pregnant women are three populations that have unique requirements when dealing with them clinically. I think it’s very important to spend some time with each population because, no matter where you work, you will be dealing with all three! Appreciating diversity is essential to success as PA.