Katherine Johnson, a Certified Nurse-Midwife at WellSpan OB/GYN in Gettysburg, did not always dream about a career as a “baby catcher.” In fact, she did not even consider a career in midwifery until learning about the occupation while in nursing school.
“The word midwife means ‘with women’ and after learning more about their essential role in women’s health it seemed like a natural fit for me,” Katherine explains.
Now a practicing certified nurse-midwife for the health system, Katherine is able to apply the fundamentals of nursing that she learned in school and combine that with her midwifery training in order to support and educate women at all stages of their health care journey.
“People often think that midwives only care for women during pregnancy and birth,” she said. “However, we care for adolescents navigating puberty, women with contraceptive needs, annual well women care, and women going through menopause.”
“Nurses and midwives play a vital role in communities all over the world as the first and often only point of care for health services,” Katherine explains. “With a rapidly growing global population there is a tremendous need to grow and expand the nursing and midwifery workforce.”
Her favorite part of being a certified nurse-midwife is the opportunity to build relationships with her patients. Katherine credits trust as the key factor to maintaining this strong relationship and works to ensure that each patient is feeling safe and comforted in their care.
In fact, she has formed such close bonds with some patients that she has ended up assisting in the labor and delivery of babies for multiple members of the same family.
“Having been here for over four years, I have been able to be a part of a family’s birth story more than once!” Katherine shares. “It is also really special when you seem to be the “baby catcher” for a whole group of women in one family!”
“I would recommend working at WellSpan OB/GYN in Gettysburg because we are very fortunate to have a fantastic team of midwives and physicians who are truly invested in providing excellent care to the women in our community,” she said. “Our group of midwives and physicians have a wonderful working relationship that respects each other’s values, opinions, and uses everyone’s strengths to benefit both our patients and our team.”
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