- 25 Nov 2014 12:00 AM
Why did you become a midwife?
While in secondary school a friend of mine took me to an autopsy. I still clearly remember standing there mesmerized while this human body revealed itself to me. It had a profound impact on me and from that day I had no doubt that the profession I will choose will in some ways be related to the human body and its operation. Later, deciding that after having seen the end of a life I would prefer to unravel the beginning of it, I applied for midwife training of Szechenyi University of Győr.
This decision caused some inevitable disappointments to my teachers, as I had shown to be talented in several other fields like swimming, running, chemistry, or recitation. Even today I enjoy sports, reading, writing, and have even studied acting. Despite all this I held on to my initial decision and chose a career in healthcare.
You are very young. How much experience do you have in your field?
For the diploma, among other tasks, we were required to assist with 50 vaginal births on our own as well as to closely monitor 100 new mothers with their newborns in the hospital. To this day I am grateful to the teachers and midwives that guided me and passed on their knowledge to me during my formative years. The modest way they approached their jobs and the respect they showed new mothers was an invaluable learning experience.
In time I became a mother, giving me further credibility among my peers and patients having experienced the “other side of the bed”. It was an immensely positive experience which motivated me to become even more effective in helping other women experience the process as a joyful one.
As a new mother I didn’t want to return to work 24/7, as most midwives do, so I decided to try something different. For a short period I worked as a deputy manager and sales executive at a well-known beauty supply company. Attending a number of trainings, I was able to hone my communication and customer relations skills, which not surprisingly, are great tools for a midwife as well.
Life is like a mosaic, with every event and milestone being a piece of it. At the end everything adds up, connects, and the work of our life reveals itself. Everything every time is ok as it is. Believing in this we need to move forward.
When did you start working at FirstMed?
In 2012. While several other private clinics had made offers I chose FirstMed because I felt a distinct positive atmosphere during my interview as well as an impression of familiar, western ambience. To me it felt like home, and it still does thanks to my colleagues; the doctors, nurses, receptionists, and admin staff. It is a privilege to work here.
What tasks are you involved in typically?
The role of the OB/GYN assistant consists of duties like assisting the patients’ visits when they are in with the doctor, assisting doctors during consultations, and gathering test results. If the visit is for woman with a pregnancy then there are other tasks related to prenatal care, e.g. checking blood pressure, CTG, NST, and assisting with ultrasound examinations. What most people don’t realize is the largest part of my daily duties is the additional administration work including patient correspondence, providing test results, keeping up with pregnant patients.
One of the strengths of FirstMed is patient relations which is mostly paying attention to and addressing patients’ questions with honest answers. As a private facility we are able to give more time to address a patient’s issues, which is something other healthcare providers are either unable or unwilling to do. Our consultations don’t just finish at end of visit with the doctor.
We follow up with patients by calling them back to see about how they are feeling, inform them about the doctor’s findings, or explain the possible causes and preventative measures. On top of that, if we find a non-gynecology related issue, we can refer them straight away to a specialist, most often one that is in-house. I do believe that at FirstMed we care about our patients and I think that it shows.
To me FirstMed is a meeting point. Here I see substantial bonds developing between doctors and their patients regardless of their cultural backgrounds, and I feel a profound unity. I also believe that we all are equal no matter what cultural or religious beliefs we have, and that we are all in it together.
What do you like about your profession?
What I find compelling is that I can help women at times when they need professional assistance and care most. Spending up to 12 hours helping a woman get through the last hours of her pregnancy, most of the time there is a trust built there, sometimes even friendships. By the time it comes to the actual birth, it is much easier for both of us to work through the process since we have formed this trust.
What I also find wonderful is that we can follow a woman from birth to old age. Newborns coming for their first pediatric visit. Couples coming for a checkup and advice before they start a family. It is beautiful following women in their first pregnancy to see how they mature over those 9 months as they get ready for motherhood. Later they return as mature women so together we tackle the challenges of menopause and other discomforts that come with age.
What are your plans for the future?
I am an Aqua Natal trainer with experience in training. I learned it from the founder, Marina Alzugaray, a well-known and recognized midwife in the US. It’s a special method of birth preparation that applies underwater exercise, breathing, and visualization techniques to help prepare for the birthing process on a physical, mental, and spiritual level to enable its free flowing nature to unfold. It also enhances the mood, and prepares the muscle groups used in the birthing process and later in breast feeding.
For now I encourage every pregnant woman to attend our existing prenatal education classes. Giving birth, becoming a new mom, a new woman, welcoming a new life in the family causes a full lifestyle change. Whether or not it is a joyful and positive experience, depends on attitude and preparation. I also recommend our prenatal exercise classes, which nicely complement the mental preparation with physical training for the big day.