Joined USJ: 2008
Just before Lucinda Canty delivered her first baby as a graduate student, her instructor (who was supposed to guide her through the process) left the room for coffee. He told her that the delivery was not likely to happen anytime soon. The patient, however, progressed quickly, but Canty was instructed not to do anything without the instructor present. She remembers a nurse, who knew she was a student, told her, “You better deliver the baby or the baby will deliver itself!”
“I was terrified,” said Canty. “I could have fainted, I was so nervous.” Though it was 20 years ago, it is a feeling Canty never forgets when she trains her own maternity students. As Canty delivered the baby, a doctor who did not realize she was a student came in and watched, but did not offer assistance. By the time Canty’s instructor returned, the only thing he told her was to “make sure you review the section on delivering a placenta.” Since then, Canty has delivered approximately 100 babies. She is determined to make sure her USJ students are confident, but supported, in that experience.
Growing up in Hartford, Canty often watched family members battle different health conditions. She remembers the negative results when they did not take care of themselves and that is what inspired her to be a nurse. Canty wants people to be educated about the conditions they face. “I think about that person who is just having a regular day and finds out they have breast cancer, and how their whole life changes from that point on,” she said. “Being there to give them support and education, making them comfortable, and helping them through the diagnosis and treatment, has always been important to me.”
Canty teaches students the basic skills of maternity care and childcare delivery, such as how to conduct assessments and offer women support during labor. “Being able to give them education and support, and seeing that patient go from afraid to comfortable and even at peace — to me, that’s an important part of nursing,” said Canty. She also finds satisfaction in watching her students gain confidence on their maternity clinical rotations because of their knowledge and training. “In the beginning they want me to hold their hand, but at the end, they know how to talk to and work with the patients,” she said.
M.S., Yale University
B.A., Columbia University