One of the biggest challenges, I have found, is the quickly changing landscape of maternity services during the covid-19 pandemic in regards to recommendations, policies and protocols at the hospital and provincial levels. These frequent changes have caused confusion, anxiety and stress for many health care workers and the maternity population.
Virtual and teleconference meetings have become the new norm of maternity care both at the clinical and leadership levels. For the technology challenged like myself, it has been an enormous learning curve. Furthermore, there has been a significant reduction in face to face contact, followed by extensive sanitizing protocols:
1.) Scrubs on: check
2.) gloves on: check
3.) mask on: check
4.) eye protection on: check
5.) sanitize like heck: check
As the acting head of Midwifery at BCWH/SPH I spend the majority of my days on teleconferences with senior leadership reviewing current recommendations, guidelines, and work flows. I assist in brainstorming human resource planning for our department in addition to liaison with the ministry of health to create solutions if and when our hospital goes into surge, and how midwifery can be part of the solution. Aside from my job at the leadership level, I also work clinically, starting my day with quick belly checks and later conducting a zoom prenatal connecting pregnancy group through South Community Birth Program in Vancouver, with my RN lead as co-facilitator and approximately 10 couples online.
The one thing that gets me through this crisis is reminding myself that this is a finite time. I have faith in our community to continue to responsibly self-isolate and maintain social distancing practices. I also believe in our infection disease control colleagues and epidemiology teams to continue to evaluate the situation, keep us informed, and strive to develop a vaccine.
I would like to thank all the doulas, volunteers, leaders, and health care professionals who have worked tirelessly hard. They have truly stepped up to help their colleagues in times of need, sewing and distributing PPE. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to our dear clients who have been an amazing supporting force during the COVID-19 pandemic.