When asked about my future occupation, I always get follow up questions. Why would you want to do OB/GYN? Do you realize you will be on call every single moment of your life? Some even ask as a joke, “what did men ever do to you?” I always respond that if they were to experience what I do, they would understand.
I have been a Health Scholar for about one year, which allows me to be directly involved with patient care. I take patient vital signs, provide comfort care, and act as the liaison between the staff and the patient in efforts to improve patient experience. In return, I gain valuable knowledge about the inner workings of the hospital, take part in networking opportunities, and learn about medically related topics firsthand. Every three months Health Scholars are assigned to a new department within the hospital, and this time, I was assigned Labor and Delivery, a purely observational unit where my love for maternal services would be confirmed or disproved.
I was very nervous. Not because I had read stories of people fainting at the sight of labor, but because labor is unpredictable. I was afraid that three months was not enough time to learn and experience its wonders. I was also worried about the possibility that Labor and Delivery would not meet my expectations and I would be left confused as to what field of medicine I want to pursue. The night before my first shift in the new rotation, I was overwhelmed with concerns yet I was still very excited. After all, I had been waiting for this rotation for almost a whole year. I had imagined every possible way to help the nursing staff and the OB/GYNs on call so that in return, I could join in and observe.
The day had come. I was wearing my baggy blue scrubs provided by the hospital and running every errand assigned. I had restocked every room in less than an hour so that in case there was a delivery, I would not be busy with another task. I was with a patient taking vitals when one of the nurses walked in. She directed me to finish up with the patient and head to room 5. Not knowing what assignment waited for me, I hurried to the room. I knocked and walked into a room full of nurses who directed me to stand in the corner and not touch the sterile field. When the doctor walked in, I realized that this was the moment I had been waiting for. On my first shift, I was lucky enough to share an intimate moment with a lovely couple who were expecting their first child. The baby was delivered within 20 minutes of my arrival. I was so amazed at what I had just witnessed. With the amazement came the reassurance that this was nothing like I had ever imagined, but maternal services was definitely a field I saw myself in. As I was observing the delivery, I could feel the couple’s bond growing stronger with each contraction. This had not always been the case for other departments, where health concerns would place a strain on families.
Looking at the first time parents who were overjoyed and teary eyed with their healthy baby boy, I had to excuse myself as crying would not be professional. After collecting myself, I walked back in to help the nurses and to thank the family for giving me this wonderful educational opportunity. Two hours later, we transported the new mom to Couplet Care where she would recover. As I watched the first time dad frantically try to help us in the process, I could only wish them luck and congratulations.
Even now, after three months of deliveries, I still get the same rush of emotions as I witness the joy a little baby brings to his or her family. To me, the happy tears of parents and a baby’s first cry are reasons enough to be an OB/GYN and having experienced these joyous occasions first hand, I look forward to all the nights on call and vacations to be cut short 10 years from now.
About Araks Ghazaryan
Araks Ghazaryan was born in Armenia and migrated to the U.S. with her family in 2005. She is a first generation college student and a sophomore at Glendale Community College with the intention of transferring to a university for a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She is a Health Scholar for Glendale Adventist Medical Center through Cope Health Solutions pipeline where she has rotated through Surgical Unit, Cardiac Telemetry Unit, Couplet Care, Labor and Delivery, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, and Emergency Department. Araks has also been named Assistant Director of Departments at GAMC where she mentors and trains other Health Scholars who join the program.