I am working on becoming a certified lactation consultant. After 6 days of thorough research online, more phone calls than I've ever made to complete strangers, emails that now fill my inbox, and even meetings already, I can say I've networked my a$$ off, and to great personal benefit. There arent many certified consultants in the area. No more than 10 from Melbourne to St Lucie County. Zero in Sebastian. I'm kind of looking forward to being the only one! Monopoly!
This is what I'm up against for requirements:
- 8 college courses (if I'm not an RN already, which I'm not)
- 6 medical courses (like CPR, something I can do on one Saturday, not an entire semester)
- 90 hours of lactation specific education (the one I'm taking is Aussie, online, and 120 hours)
- 500 hours of mentor-supervised clinical hours.
The clinical hours are the challenge. Not only do I have to find my own mentors, they have to be recertified lactation consultants. That means they've been in the profession for at least 5 years and were certified then, and have been certified again. So I'm looking for old-lady LCs in the area, who are willing to do me a favor and help me out. I am at their disposal! Its proving difficult, but manageable.
The more mentors I have the more hours I can potentially get. The mentors also each have their own 'venue' (WIC offices, mother to mother support groups, hospitals, pedi office, etc) so I'd have a diverse knowledge of LC-ing in diff locations.
I have found the LC community to be very friendly, willing to help, and HUGE networkers as well. There isnt any hostile competition, I've been referred to this person and that all over Florida! Each person I contacted over the weekend has called me back or emailed. They've given me all the information they possess that will help me or they've agreed to be my mentor. I have roughly 4 mentors already.
My next step is to meet all the mentors in person (I've met one) and have them sign some things. Then I have to get my plan approved with all my mentors on paper. Once that plan is approved, my hours can start racking up.
Back in my 'college days' I took 4 of the health care pre-req courses I already need. Beginning Aug 23 I start the other 4; four nights a week. Luckily its in Vero, at IRSC. A major reason I went with this program!
When I finish at IRSC in December, I will be studying the home-study lactation specific courses (120 hours), taking the 6 medical courses, while getting clinical hours too. Once all that is complete (my goal is to finish by April 2013), I can apply to take the exam which is only held every July.
Basically... I'm going to be busy now. Monday-Thursday evenings are booked for me. Jason will be home with the kids doing dinner, bath, and bedtime. Weekends will be spent studying. Friday will hopefully be spent collecting clinical hours (Jason will be getting all his work done Mon-Thurs so I can have Friday). I am crossing my fingers that I will not need to look into any type of childcare, especially anything last minute. But whatev. We can deal with it.
Sunny does start preschool the same day I start school. She is going Tues/Thurs mornings to a church school on our street. I know, I know, but church preschools are damn good.... Monday and Wednesday is another moms-morning-out type program that all my friends here are enrolling their kids in to. This program is in the mornings as well and only costs $100 a YEAR. I hope to spend the time kid-less with these other moms walking and playing tennis. At least thats the plan.
I dont handle stress very well, thats why I like to play it safe and stay home a lot (I swear, I do stay home a LOT! My friends here in Sebastian call me "The Girl That Stays Home"... Ok, maybe I dont have a nickname but I was recently informed I am teased behind my back about this). I am unsure how I will handle this many activities and stress with babies. I imagine it will be like our recent Germany trip so I am quite nervous.
But, like I said, I am ready for something. I am going from zero activities to 1000. Wish the Gligs luck. We are all gonna need it.