Some hospitals have come up with a way to ensure patient satisfaction by enforcing an agreement with professional doulas. The agreement is proof that the doula is competent, knowledgeable and respectful of the facility where she may be conducting her services.
Doulas with credentials. I love it.
I'm proud of the professional training I've had and I worked hard to earn my certification. ProDoula has taught me to build bridges with doctors and midwives. I'm excited for the opportunity the agreement brings.
A list of credentialed doulas will be supplied to patients. These families will be ensured that the list contains doulas who take their work seriously. They will have confidence and empowerment knowing that this list contains professionals.
There has been a ruckus in the doula community surrounding this agreement. A ruckus I don't understand.
The agreement ensures doulas stay within their scope, and if they don't they can be asked to leave. As a professional doula who always stays within her scope, I see no issue with this. Another requirement is to either get a flu shot or wear a mask. Considering the work we do, vaccines or mask-wearing is a good idea! Newborn babies and newly delivered parents are more susceptible to infection and aren't we there to ensure their well being? Mask up doulas, for baby's sake.
Remember when you had sleepovers at your friend's house? You took off your shoes at their door, said "please" and "thank you" and you even helped your bff with her chores! You respected their house rules.
But why the agreement?
Because rule-breakers exist. Because rogue doulas exist. Because there are doulas who do not stay within their scope.
I'm privy to local instances where doulas have talked back to providers. Who undermined them in front of their patients/clients. Who scoffed at the hospital policies and procedures and done as they pleased.
I do not want to be lumped in with those doulas. I want to be a doula the hospital is proud to have in their laboring rooms. I want to be a doula that laboring families desire. Professional, educated, respected and valued.
Hand me a pen, I'm ready to sign.
Randy Patterson of ProDoula wrote an amazing piece, click HERE to read it in its entirety:
"Hospitals are not trying to dictate what doulas do. They are committed to learning what doulas do and holding doulas accountable to exactly what doulas do."