The Crossroads of Education and Experience

Our organization’s educational paradigm combines education with experience, believing that knowledge without practice is vanity. Education must inform one’s practice. The immersion experience provides students with the opportunity to practice that which they have learned in the classroom.

As a student in the Childbirth Education certification program, I was eager to put into practice the knowledge and skills I have gained in the classroom.  Volunteering at a district health center was perhaps the most unique experience I've had thus far. This health center employs eight midwives and also serves as a teaching center for students from one of Uganda’s leading schools of Nursing and Midwifery. Working alongside second-year students of Comprehensive Nursing and Midwifery, I felt confident in the education I’ve received in the CBE Program.

The practical skills I possess enabled me to assist pregnant women laboring in a crowded maternity ward, many of them alone and without support or comfort.  Beyond the medical care that these women received from hospital staff, I carried with me the spirit of God and a desire to serve.  In his ministry, Jesus always addressed the social, emotional, and physical needs of human beings.  Likewise, our model of care for childbearing women seeks to care for women holistically in hopes that birth would become a humanizing experience.  When a woman’s emotional and physical needs are met, there is less risk to both her and her baby.

One of the women I supported was a first-time mother named Gertrude.  As she bore the pain of labor, I stayed near to comfort and support her, often holding her through contractions and offering encouragement as she rested between contractions.  I was holding her hand as she gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  My education has informed my practice among these women in the hospitals and health clinics of Kenya and Uganda, and I carry their stories and experiences with me so that I might learn more to serve them better in the future.

 

By: Megan Fleeman