I get job listings for RN positions in my email. Yesterday, I caught myself peaking at a job listing for a school nurse position, and I knew May must be around the corner.
Every year since becoming a nurse, I’ve attended the national AWHONN conference (except one year when I wasn’t allowed to fly because of my high-risk pregnancy). My husband has always been a student, and I’ve always been the only one to work, so affording the conference has never been easy…but I always thought of it as a necessity. Some of the best nurses I’ve ever known have never been to a state or a national conference…and that is just shocking to me. I mean, how can they be that good and not get so tired doing what they’re doing?!? I still don’t understand. Every single year, around May, I start questioning whether or not I want to stay in obstetrics. After all, it’s a very demanding field. Every May I start browsing school nurse positions. I think to myself, I can give out Motrin and band-aids and make sure that everyone is up-to-date on their immunizations. And then every June I attend the AWHONN conference and I leave feeling like I can change an entire population. I’m renewed! And that lasts until the next year 🙂
I never think that other people could possibly love their patients, or obstetrics, the way I love it. But then I go to these conferences and I realize there’s a lot of other nurses who love OB the way I do! It is so refreshing. And the funny thing is, it doesn’t matter where you work, or where you live, or what your clientele is like….all of our patients are the same. They all say the same things. They all go through labor and delivery the same way. And physicians are the same everywhere. You have good ones and bad ones and ones that make you want to throw things. And we’re all tackling the same problems—surgical site infections, patient satisfaction, managing hypertension, and…. My point is, we all share this common thread, regardless of where we work or come from. I remember I was at one conference and the speaker said “and we’ve seen a rise in opiate-depended babies.” And different people gasped in different areas of the room. We were all thinking “We’ve seen a rise in that too!”
If you’ve never been to a conference, I encourage you to attend. Talk to your manager or director. You’d be surprised, they may offer to pay for you to go (no matter what they say, they have a budget for this sort of thing). Approach them and tell them your desire to attend the conference because you’d like to learn more about ___________. And if they don’t pay for it, figure out a way to go anyway. Phone a friend and plan a road trip. And remember, tax deduction! 🙂 (I am the queen of finding a silver lining to justify things to my husband).
This year the conference is in Orlando. If you’re going, leave a comment….we might bump into each other. After all, OB is a very small world 🙂