Thursday, December 19, 2013

Such a Great Day

This Tuesday, I went to the second organization that I am interested in working with, Durham Connects. I learned a little about this organization this past fall in my public health intro course, and I was excited to learn more. Durham Connects is a nonprofit organization that provides every woman in Durham County, who gives birth, with the chance to have a home visit (from a registered nurse) about three weeks after her delivery. It does not matter whether the woman is single, married, a first time mother, rich, poor, English speaking, etc.; Durham Connects provides the service regardless. It was an amazing organization, and I had such a great experience.

  When I arrived at the organization, the nurses were just about ready to begin their weekly case review. Every Tuesday, the nurses come together and discuss the home visits that they completed the week before. During this time, they are able to bring questions to the table in order to get other nurses' inputs. While I sat in on the case review a heard a huge variety of stories. Some moms were very well off financially, others were poor, some were from other countries, and some had numerous problems related to their pregnancy. I was shocked to hear all the different stories, and how the nurses deal with each story. After about an hour and a half, the nurses were ready to go on their home visit for the day. I went with a nurse named Liz. She was incredibly nice, and while we were driving to the home, I was amazed to hear she is also a SANE nurse, a doula, and getting her masters in Maternal and Child Health at UNC! (She basically lives the life I dream to have).

After about fifteen minutes, we arrived at the home, and I experienced the most adorable hour and a half ever! At first, I was really unsure what to expect, as I have never gone on a nurse home visit before. When we first walked into the house we were greeted by four adults. The mom, dad, and the maternal grandparents. Liz began to talk to the family, just to cover general information, and then.......the baby came into the room. I kid you not, this baby was one of the most precious babies I have ever met! I sat in amazement and happiness as Liz helped answer questions. She showed the mother how to breastfeed in a less painful way, taught the parents about tummy time, taught the family some interesting newborn baby facts that they didn't know, took the baby's weight and height, and gathered the mom's BP. Additionally, Liz talked to the parents to make sure the mom had the emotional and social support that she needed. Throughout the whole visit, I just quietly sat in a chair and observed everything, but it was a great visit.

The parents were so adorable. They had so many questions, and I could tell they just want to do absolutely everything right. The grandma was continuously snapping photos while Liz helped with the baby, and the baby just stared straight ahead trying to take it all in. Durham Connects is a great organization that brings wonderful services to newborns of Durham County, and I am so glad I was able to experience this organization! 

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