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Birth Doulas - Has a hospital ever wanted this from you?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
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?
post #2 of 9
I have never had to sign anything for the hospital. I have heard of some hospital requiring an agreement about doula behavior prior to being allowed in the rooms, is it like that? Or is it sealing you to be completely confidential about the way the hospital behaves? Or what exactly?
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwifeErika View Post
I have never had to sign anything for the hospital. I have heard of some hospital requiring an agreement about doula behavior prior to being allowed in the rooms, is it like that? Or is it sealing you to be completely confidential about the way the hospital behaves? Or what exactly?
Honestly, Im not sure! My MIL is an LPN in OB there, and the director of OB was talking to her about it. One of the nurses invited me behind the nurses station, but I didnt go. I felt that was over stepping my boundaries. I want to be treated by the staff as if I am just another support person for the family. If the nurses are discussing something about a patient, they shouldnt be doing in ear shot of me or any other person who is there, kwim? I dont get it...

I was just wondering if any other birth doulas have signed hospital confidentiality forms. Nothing like that was every mentioned in training, thats for sure.
post #4 of 9
I have a confidentiality agreement that I use between me and my client. The hospital has no part in it. They aren't the ones you work for. I wouldn't sign it on that principle alone. I take that autonomy very seriously, as I feel it is necessary for maintaining trust between me and my client.
post #5 of 9
When I was part of a hospital program, yes, I signed a confidentiality form. For a doula in the community it makes no sense. Have you shown the director of OB the HIPAA form you have your clients sign as a DONA doula? Perhaps that would aleviate any concern they have.
post #6 of 9
I have not been asked to do that by a hospital.
post #7 of 9
Oh H3ll No!
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smalls181 View Post
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!
- Jen
post #9 of 9
Most of the time it is just a simple form to cover their butts so they don't have to ask you to leave when discussing your clients medical information with them. I see no problem in signing it. It doesn't mean they think you work for them.
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