Education For Life

by Bonita Katz, BA RN ICCE ICBD IAT CLC

Is anyone’s life the same as it was just a week or two ago? Each of us has had to make some kind of adjustment – healthcare workers putting in more hours, others working from home, events cancelled, schools closed. Everyone is making the best of the changes.

I don’t know if there is better preparation for a time like this than working in the birth world. We need to know the basics of labor and birth and at the same time be knowledgeable about the unexpected. We do not fearfully anticipate something going wrong, but we are prepared in case it does. And how do we make decisions? We use our BRAIN! (What are the Benefits, Risks, and Alternatives? What does our Intuition tell us? What if we say Not now? Or what if we do Nothing?)

In many ways, when we teach childbirth classes we are not simply preparing people for birth; we are imparting life skills. So, in the midst of this health crisis, we can employ the principles we teach so that we live wisely – not anxiously, but well-prepared. We use our BRAIN to make good decisions. Kudos to all the childbirth educators who have taught well and in that way prepared people for this time.

Doulas have faced a wide variety of circumstances. AWHONN has voiced its support of doulas as part of the healthcare team yet some are prohibited from attending births. Whatever the situation you find yourself in, I encourage you to be respectful and compassionate. Offering support virtually may not be ideal, but in most cases it would be possible. Look for online resources that you can share with your clients. Co-operating with healthcare institutions – whether or not you agree with their decisions – will demonstrate your reasonable character and so build bridges for future collaboration.

Now a few notes specific to ICEA:

  1. We need more experienced educators who are willing to evaluate new candidates. Take a look at the ICEA Certified Professionals Support Facebook page. Candidates frequently post there looking for someone who can evaluate their classes.
  2. We are always in need of mentors – those experienced educators who are willing to take some time to help those new to this field. If you are interested please fill out the form on the website.
  3. Keep records of your certifications. ICEA makes every effort to maintain accurate records, but no system is infallible. It is ultimately the individual’s responsibility to keep track of their continuing education hours, births attended, and dates for certification renewal. We are happy to help in any way we can, but our office staff has a myriad of responsibilities. Keeping accurate records of your certifications will help our staff make the best use of their time.
  4. Help wanted! Nominations will be open next month for several positions on the Board of Directors. Consider how you could work within this organization. If a Board position seems intimidating consider serving on a committee. If you have been certified for at least three years, you may want to consider applying to be an IAT (ICEA Approved Trainer).

ICEA thrives because good people step up to serve others. If you have questions about any of these positions, please email me at president@icea.org.

Wishing you peace in this turbulent time,

Boni