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Natalie Wyler, pen name of a 1969 grad, recently published Labor Intensive, a true-to-life journal encompassing two years in the author’s early nursing career spent working side by side with physicians-in-training as part of their residency program in Women’s Health. The setting is a high-risk obstetrics unit at a large metropolitan hospital serving the city’s poor and immigrant women and their infants. Doctors and nurses are described responding to an array of emergencies and a crushing workload in this labor-intensive setting. The medical situations are eye-openers—the interpersonal dynamics even more so. There are plenty of ethical dilemmas to traverse for the staff, and a measure of humor to leaven the stark circumstances. The work also describes the personal journey of the author as she morphs from a shy and insecure new nurse to a strong and confident caregiver able to act on behalf of patients who were in a highly vulnerable position.a memoir of her experience working in an inner city teaching hospital caring for poor and immigrant women and their infants.
Wyler is a thirty-year veteran nurse and midwife. Early in her career, she was moved to tell the story of life in an inner city public hospital, in a maternity service in which doctors and nurses were in training to deliver complex obstetrical care. Due to their poverty and immigrant status, many of their patients had very limited options for their childbearing experience. This population provided difficult moments for their caregivers, as they experienced complicated health and pregnancy problems that tested the team’s knowledge and skills at every turn. In her journal, she speaks to moments of joy, the intense rewards of participating in the arrival of new life. She reveals her personal and professional struggles in dealing with difficult personalities and conflicting approaches to ethical controversies. Despite the challenging circumstances, the author manages to preserve her vision of the heart of such work, caring for woman struggling to cope in one of life’s most intense moments.
For a peek into her compelling world, visit nataliewyler.com.