I have been musing recently on what it means to be patient. In what ways can we impact people around us by being patient?

In my line of work there are a few ways being patient has an impact.

Many women can birth vaginally with a little patience from their carers. I have a reputation, in the birthing suites where I work, for being very patient. Actually, I may frustrate and bemuse my midwife colleagues by waiting for women to birth in the birthing suites. Also, I sometimes perform scalp lactate samples (a painless small sample of blood taken from baby’s scalp, which adds more information to any concerns about baby’s heart rate) in order for a labour to proceed and to avoid a caesarean section. Most of my colleagues would opt out much earlier.
Alternatively, some women need to be patient and trust in their bodies. They will usually go into spontaneous labour if left alone.

When I was training, I worked with a consultant who was supremely patient. I was often impressed by how much effort he put into really finessing a birth for a patient. He is still a fabulous role model (I believe we all need one of those).

Patience is also important in our role as teachers. I have recently had a new group of midwifery students start to come to my rooms to learn about obstetrics. Every new year reminds me of just how far the last group of students reached. As a teacher, we sometimes need to “reboot” and recall what it was like to be learning something for the first time.

Patience is one of the virtues that we can all use in our day-to-day lives.
Time and patience will turn a mulberry leaf into silk (1659)


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