Originally Posted by Smalls181
I am finishing up my birth doula certification. There is only one hospital in my area and so far things have been great. In fact, the director of OB urged me to get certified for this. But now they want me to sign a confidentiality release form? As if I am hired by the hospital, not the families. For some reason she thinks that because I am being paid to do this (or will be once Im certified) I should sign their release. I disagree. What do you think?
I would absolutely NOT sign that. You are not hired by the hospital. You are a "guest" of the woman in labor. That is the fine line that doulas walk, we advocate and support and inform and encourage our clients, but we do not have an absolute RIGHT to be there. So, if there is a conflict between you and hospital staff, you could be asked to leave or "thrown out". BUT you are under no obligation to sign anything between you and the hospital. BUT they are under no obligation to allow you to be there. It would be unusual if they disallowed doulas and other support persons there, as "every" hospital I've ever been in has allowed additional persons for the support of the mother. It would be very bad PR for them, and hospitals do have to compete with other local hospitals, especially in the patient satisfaction area, but it could happen.
That's a lot of "buts" lol.
If they insist, then I'd have a chat with them, and clearly go over my role as a doula, how i am hired by the parents, how I do not plan to "cause problems" but am simply hired support for mom and dad, how I have no interest in other patients statuses, etc. and how I am to be treated just like a grandmother or other family member would... not being allowed into staff only areas, not allowed behind the desk, etc.
It's possible, if you're the first doula in their hospital, that they're just really unclear about just who you work for and what your duties and responsibilities are. You have a great opportunity to lay the foundation for good relations for future doulas!