Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Workman Not Ashamed

Labor & Delivery is a hard place to learn to work.  It involves many different sets of knowledge and differing skill sets.

For example, a nurse new to Labor & Delivery must learn the ebb and flow of normal labor.  But she must also learn how to manage pre-term labor.  She must be able to recognize dysfunctional and arrested labor.  

Then she must learn all the complications pregnancy.  She must know the difference between chronic hypertension in pregnancy, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, severe pre-eclampsia, eclampsia and HELLP.  She must also know how to care for the pregnant diabetic and the effects her diabetes will have on her newborn.

Beyond all the complications of labor, she must learn how to care for and to resuscitate a newborn if necessary.  She must be able to help the new mother with breastfeeding and effectively teach this to the mother and support persons.

She must know how to be the circulating nurse and scrub nurse in Cesarean Sections, circumcisions and various emergency surgeries the patient could need.  This means she must be a master of sterile technique.

She has to know how to recover the surgical patient, caring for her not only in an obstetric sense, but also in a post-anesthesia sense.

She must learn to perform multiple skill sets.  She must learn to start IVs with large-bore needles.  She must learn how to interpret the fetal monitor and how to transmit that information accurately. She must master the art of a cervical exam (which is like putting your finger in your mouth and telling how long your tongue is.)  She must learn the newborn examination, how to perform lab test on a moving baby, how to weigh babies, how to provide post-circumcision care. 

She must learn how to be calm and encouraging in an emergency when every thing inside of her is screaming.  She must learn how to transmit information about a patient succinctly and accurately to a sleepy physician in the middle of the night.

Very little of this is taught in a nursing program.  Obstetrics, surgery, newborn and post-anesthesia care are usually glanced over, not covered in depth.  Nurses must learn this during their orientation program from the unit where they are working.  They must read and study, study and read.

I had one young nurse tell me the other day, "I don't learn by reading, I have to do."  I promptly told her that she had to read and learn the stack of information I had just given her before she could do.  I also informed her that I would be asking her questions on the information and I expected her to know the answers.

It only takes one frustrated physician to scream at a young nurse to make her feel ashamed of her lack of preparedness. (And yes, that does happen.  Nothing can give you the impetus to learn more than the scathing words of a physician flung at you across a nursing unit.)

And although birth itself has not changed since Eve gave birth to Cain, everything else which surrounds birth changes often.  This means nurses must be ever-learning, ever-relearning.

As young Christians there is so much for us to read and study, study and read as well.  In fact, it is my belief that we will spend all eternity learning more about our glorious Savior but never coming near the end of what we could learn.

In this life, our primary form of learning will come from the Bible and those who teach it.  The Bible is the authority on our Christian lives, on what our Lord has done, is doing and will be doing for us.  It is our study guide, our authoritative text, our script, our trail guide, our map. 

The Bible not only is our authority, it is THE authoritative text.  It is the only book of which can be said that every word is undeniable true.  Whether we understand what we are reading or not does not change that fact.  This is our go-to place when we need answers, encouragement, correction, direction, guidance and information.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (2 Timothy 3:16.)

Some Christians love to read the paper Bible they have had for decades, some love to listen to a narration of the Scriptures, some like to read it on their phone, tablet or computer.  It matters not how we read the Word of God, but that we do.

The Bible will reveal things to us of our Lord, our world and ourselves.  Consistent exposure to the Scriptures can reveal things about ourselves that the Lord is in the process of changing.  By the sword of His Word He is ever transforming us to the image of His dear Son.

"For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart."  Hebrews 4:12

Let us study and read, read and study, so that we have no need to be ashamed.

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

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