Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Are you sure?
Yesterday I received the exciting news that I will be heading to the Philippines for the next 2 years! I've been accepted to Newlife International school of Midwifery in Davao City on the southern island of Mindanao. I let out a little yelp when I read the email at work. As the news spread among my coworkers, many were curiously confused as to why I would choose to go to the Philippines for education. I've tried to explain my passion for working in underdeveloped countries, but it doesn't make much sense to them. Their favorite interest in traveling out of the country is to go on Disney cruises in the Bahamas. And why would I choose training that isn't at the most professional and highest level I could in the great United States? They were all very congratulatory, but also intrigued.
The biggest surprise to me was when I broke the news to my boss. She was excited for me, but then said, "Sarah, before you make any decisions, Kim and I want to talk to you."
Later in the afternoon I was called to her office and was a bit intimidated to see our nurse manager, our assistant nurse manager, and two other administrators waiting to talk to me. They sat me down and one quickly blurted out, "We think you should be a nurse practitioner!"
I was a little taken aback, and just answered with a surprised, "Oh!"
They went on very kindly to tell me how smart they think I am and how much potential I have, and want to be sure I know all the options available to me.
I told them I was very flattered that they would care so much to say something and that they think so highly of me, but want on to describe my passion for maternal and infant health and becoming a midwife. I explained the difference in working in an international setting and how physician assistants and nurse practitioners aren't always a recognized profession in other countries.
They still interjected more comments, "But you would be a fantastic nurse practitioner!" "It would give you so many more variable skills if you trained as a nurse." "You would always have job options."
So I explained more about why I want to train as a direct-entry midwife and become a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) instead of going through nursing and becoming a nurse-midwife. I talked about working in rural areas in other countries, what I've seen and the needs that are there. I explained my desire to teach women in these areas to have basic midwife skills and how this school in the Philippines is so greatly aligned with all of my goals.
In the end, I don't know if they truly understood me. It was so very sweet of them to care so much and they were very encouraging, but I think I disappointed them a bit. They did tell me they were impressed that I would choose a life of such service, but they make it sound like I'm sacrificing so much, whereas I see it as what I enjoy more than anything else. I just wish it wasn't all about being successful and professional. To them, it sounds like a dinky little midwife school in the Philippines. To me, I see a fantastic opportunity to learn and serve at the same time at a school that highly values many of the things I value. It is a fully accredited program through the US that offers me a degree and prepares me to register as a CPM.
I am trying to not be disheartened by the fact that people think I'm choosing the wrong path. I truly have extensively thought through my options over the last few years as people have asked me why I'm not going to medical school, or PA school, or becoming a nurse. I have seen God leading me this direction and I'm jumping in with both feet!