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Masters, Nursing, Doula, Latina

January 24, 2013

After completing my pre-med degree in Biology, I took time out to have a family, and spend as much time as possible with my kids during their first formative years.  It was during this time that I started a home-based service providing birth and postpartum services to clients in the Bay Area.    As a doula, I spent hours learning all that I could about childbirth, fetal development, optimal nutrition and infant care.   Through my direct birthing woman exposure, I learned a number of interpersonal skills, how to nurture and support my clients, and empower them to speak up and be active participants in the process.  Just as nurses interact with and support their patients, as well as their respective families, I learned how to help new fathers, many of whom were eager to begin their new roles, gain focus.  Many nurses, like any other healthcare professional, are members of professional organizations.  I too joined a group of doulas, with the aim of giving back to the community, providing free services to socio-economically depressed women and particularly African American teens.  Outside of my professional group, I also volunteered as a doula at KaiserHospital, increasing my exposure as a doula as well as in hospital settings.

 Through my work as a doula, I was exposed to many multidisciplinary medical teams, and particularly nurses.  To my mind, nurses were the backbone of the hospital, treating, monitoring, providing emotional support, educating and keeping patients, their families as well as their medical teams informed.  I developed an immense amount of respect, even awe, for nurses.  Therefore, I am under no illusions of the demanding work that nurses undertake as a part of the daily lives.  Unlike doulas, nurses have a much broader scope of practice, administer medications, follow specific guidelines that are in place for patient and staff safety and in the most practical terms work shifts, nights and weekends.

 More specifically, I have had direct midwife exposure in home settings and obstetricians in hospital settings.  Nurse midwifery, for me, brings together the best of both practices.  While nurse midwives, like obstetricians, are able to provide clinical care, deliver babies and provide well woman care, they are also able to provide the emotional care and time that traditional midwives provide.  Moreover, I am choosing nurse midwifery because I am committed to helping families in getting a good start, a combination of my holistic view of pregnancy as a natural life event that normally requires little intervention, but also adds the safety of obstetrician supervision, experienced personnel and equipment necessary to remedy foreseen and unforeseen complications.

As a doula, I have assisted many women during childbirth and experienced incredibly satisfying moments when after twelve hours of labor and three hours of pushing, to be turned to by the birth mother and be told, “I couldn’t have done this without you, thank you”.  I felt it was my privilege to be a witness to nature’s greatest miracle, and a client’s intimate moment.  More importantly, while I have given my time, energy, and love of service, I have been left wanting to give that much more, and on a greater scale.  Becoming a nurse midwife through the Masters entry program in nursing at UXXX can help bring my goals, indeed my dreams to reality.  To establish a set of clinical skills, and develop a level of autonomy for decision-making based on expertise, evidence and direct patient exposure will enable me to serve so many more patients, and of equal importance, be a role model for my children, that anything is possible through hard work, dedication and keeping a constant eye on our dreams.

 UXXX’s nursing program offers the amazing opportunity of earning RN certification after just the first year.  In truth, UXXX is my sole choice for academic development for deeply personal reasons.  As refuges, we received medical care at UXXX’s General Hospital.  It is only fitting that I further my education through the same program that showed us such incredible compassion when we needed help the most.  Having assisted with two births at UXXX, I have been impressed by the knowledgeable and welcoming nurses, midwives and obstetricians.  No other program could offer me the same progressive, all-encompassing education possible, in a city that I count among the world’s finest.  I grew up here, and want to complete my training and serve the people of San Francisco.

My academic, personal and professional experiences have prepared me for the opportunity and challenge of the graduate nursing program.  I bring with me a solid academic foundation, and direct birth mother exposure in home and medical teams in hospital settings.  More than this, though, I bring my humility, and ability to work with diverse clients and co-workers.  Serving my clients as well as people in my community through volunteerism, I have gained a deep appreciation for the unique needs of at-risk populations, what it means to be without health insurance and one thing resonates throughout, across all cultures, languages and socioeconomics, and that is the health of our children.

 Post-graduation, my goals are quite simple: to be an outstanding nurse and excellent healthcare provider, developing my exposure for at least a year as an RN after certification.  Later, I am intent upon becoming an advanced-practice nurse.  In the meantime, I am continuing to develop my grasp of the Spanish language, so I can help serve our ever-growing Latino population.

 No other field ever has nor ever could bring me the same level of personal, professional and spiritual satisfaction.  I am excited, and honored to be considered for the UXXX graduate nursing program.

 Thank you for your time and consideration.

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