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Doulas: Would you send a letter of introduction to the hospital staff?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am thinking I want to send an introduction letter to the hospital staff- especially the nurses just to say hello before I work with them, but I wonder if this would back fire.

I am still technically in training and want to express to the staff I am hoping to work with them to encourage the mom through her labor process- and hope they will be open to helping me with this learning process.

Do you think this might backfire more than it will help? I know the hospitals in this area have worked with doulas in the past and we are relatively "progressive" in term of care (compared to other areas).

thoughts?

TIA
post #2 of 8
It totally depends on who opens the letter! Some people might roll their eyes and toss it. Others might think it was great and remember it. However, whether either of those people would be there when you got there is the question. I would probably NOT send a letter, but do what I do and make eye contact, give them a firm but friendly handshake, and introduce myself when I get there with a client. Then I do my best to make myself useful to the client which very often turns out being helpful to the nursing staff as well...and overall leave the staff with a positive impression of myself and doulas in general by the time I leave. If I'm going in to what I know to be a particularly difficult crowd and I have time, I'll bake some cookies and bring some nice hand lotion in a basket for the nurses who are at the nursing station while I'm there. That has never hurt...
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by courtenay_e View Post
It totally depends on who opens the letter! Some people might roll their eyes and toss it. Others might think it was great and remember it. However, whether either of those people would be there when you got there is the question. I would probably NOT send a letter, but do what I do and make eye contact, give them a firm but friendly handshake, and introduce myself when I get there with a client. Then I do my best to make myself useful to the client which very often turns out being helpful to the nursing staff as well...and overall leave the staff with a positive impression of myself and doulas in general by the time I leave. If I'm going in to what I know to be a particularly difficult crowd and I have time, I'll bake some cookies and bring some nice hand lotion in a basket for the nurses who are at the nursing station while I'm there. That has never hurt...
I totally agree!!
post #4 of 8
I honestly doubt it would even be seen by more than one or two staff members. I agree with the PP - just be pleasant to the nurses when you come in with a client.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amlikam View Post
I am still technically in training and want to express to the staff I am hoping to work with them to encourage the mom through her labor process- and hope they will be open to helping me with this learning process.
May I make an observation about your choice of words? Forgive the pickiness, but this is an issue which has been discussed often among local doulas. I would say a good doula is not working with hospital staff. She is working with, and for, her pregnant client, and just happens to be in the same hospital with these staff members while she does so. Your client does not need yet another person working with the hospital staff; she needs one person who is just with her.
post #5 of 8
I have to agree with the previous thoughts. Even if the area or hospital is fairly "progressive", you still must be prepared for the old school nurse, trained in the 60 during times of twilight sleep, and is ready to stick your client in the back the minute they walk in the door. They are out there, and the overall feel of the hospital means nothing when that lady is your clients nurse. They do not want a doula in the way of them managing her birth.

I would NOT send a letter. You may know that you will be serving clients at that hospital alot, but really you are not working with them. Just be confident and friendly every time you come in. eventually you will get to know the staff, most will be good to you, but dont expect then all to be. And I would not give the impression that you are not knowledgable, a question here or their to assist your client when she is trying to clarify information is great. Again your doula friendly nurse may just naturally share things with you, but the other could take on an attitude that they are not responsible for teaching you at all and it is not her job.

You being their shoud reduce the time any nurse has to spend in that room. This is benificial to everyone involved. You are serving client and the more you can keep her from being disturbed by strangers the better. The hospital just happens to be the location at the time. And the nurses will eventually find it is a bit of a relief for them mas well.
post #6 of 8
I wouldn't send a letter. Like it's been said be professional and friendly a "I'm excited to be working with you" and maybe bring a treat for the nurse you're working with or the whole l&d, a plate of brownies, something like that would probably make a better impression than a letter.
post #7 of 8
If I'm going to be with a client at a hospital I haven't attended before, I go in sometime during the prenatal period and meet the admissions staff and ask for a short tour. I try to ask intelligent questions about their practices and routines such as admission procedures, triage policies, location of snacks and beverages for the patient, location of lights, etc. I've found that most of the time the nurses and staff are very accommodating and you can learn a lot that will help during the birth. Then when I come in, I bring treats both for the admissions desk and the nursing stations. It does help to know where everything is. I would not send a letter though.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Your client does not need yet another person working with the hospital staff; she needs one person who is just with her.
You put into words what I was DYING to say at a meeting with local doulas today.
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