Clinical Rotations

Clinical Rotations

It’s begun again. I’m getting up at 4:30 in the morning, waking up early enough that the first half hour of radio I listen to as I get up and make my coffee is always the BBC. The opening music for PRI’s The World is something I have come to associate completely with this: being up way too-early for a clinical rotation, almost vomit-early, on purpose.

It’s not good to be this tired in my second week of school. I can’t believe that this is just my second week of school. And yet. I do love the BBC.

Today: I’ll arrive at the hospital, an hour’s drive away, at 6:30 in the morning. I’ll change into their scrubs, pull the regulation green cotton over my head and clip my ID badges to my front. I’ll be assigned to a laboring woman, or to a woman getting an induction, or a woman going in for a scheduled cesarean section. I’ll read fetal heart rate strips and try to remember where everything is kept on the unit. If I’m lucky, I’ll eat lunch.

If I’m even luckier, I’ll help catch a baby.

I have so much to learn about the medications, and the intricate complexities of newborn physiology. The one thing that I feel quite confident about with this clinical is being hands-on. Pregnant women don’t scare me the way they did before I became a doula. Touching patients, the casual intimacy of healthcare, doesn’t scare me the way it did in my first months of being a nursing student. It’s staggering how much 12 months can change everything. I’m going to go palpate some bellies today. And it’s going to be awesome.

Leopold’s Maneuver–using your hands to figure out how the baby is positioned in the mother’s uterus

cross-posted with


Stay Up-To-Date

Get updates on the latest stories, from hot topics, to faculty research, alumni profiles, and more.

Ways to subscribe