Changes and TA Takeovers

Blog Mora 1.22.24

It's been four years since my pelvic floor bestie (fellow Lead TA Carly Gossard) convinced my introverted self to try my hand at teaching assistant. I was hesitant, to say the least. I had taught small lab groups at Stockton University and mentored many of my colleagues in different areas, including pelvic health, but a class of 50 people relying on me to guide them through their first pelvic exam experience…I was terrified. It was the weekend before the world shut down for COVID, so there was this underlying current of “What does the future hold” and “Should we steal the gloves and hand sanitizer?” 

Flash forward to the present day. I consider myself so lucky to wear many hats for Herman & Wallace. That first TA experience sparked this love of being with the Level 1 students as they embark on their pelvic health provider journeys. When HW needed to shift to the satellite model, I was one of the first TAs to jump into that role. When Megan Chamberlain (herder of the TAs) asked for help building a Lead TA program, I gave her my list of suggestions (I may consider Leslie Knope from Parks & Rec a role model). One of my favorite things about HW is that they take feedback seriously. At one point, they realized they needed someone to track the patterns of that feedback and guess who got that job….ME!

In 2023, the HW team decided it was time to take that feedback and update the main series to be more…more inclusive, more advanced, more hands-on, more to take home immediately to clinical practice. I was quick to chime in as I had a lot of subjective data from years of review synthesis. We have been organizing, researching, considering, consulting, and revamping the main series, and the first two classes of the series launched in January 2024! As the series rolled out, I decided I needed to TA each class to feel and experience the changes. 

I spent January 14th and 15th  at Hunter College in NYC with 30+ students during the second run of Pelvic Function Level 1. It went just as amazing as I had hoped as I helped the content team build it. The precourse work laid the foundation for more inclusive providers, reviewed the basics, and set students up to be ready for more advanced and hands-on content in class. There was penile-scrotal anatomy in this course instead of participants having to dive deeper into the pelvic floor series to learn these structures exist. It took about 2 years of my pelvic health career for that to happen in a class for ME! Students came in with more comfort on what they were going to do in person. They also confirmed that the workbook was the thing that hands-on, visual learners dream of. They even noticed we used bigger fonts and included closed captioning. 

If you’ve interacted with me at all, through TA experiences, classes, or watching me mic run at HWConnect 2023, you’ll see I’ve come a long way from being the shy wallflower in the back of a PF1. This January, in addition to being one of the teaching assistants for Pelvic Function Level 1 in NYC, I’m also one of the first “TA Takeover” guinea pigs. What does this mean? Probably more videos of me dancing with pelvic organs from iHeartGuts joining the internet! I do hope to show you a little glimpse into what it's like to take a class with HW. In all seriousness though, HW’s goal and mission to bring quality, accessible, and inclusive care to all individuals makes it easy for me to say yes and sign up for any adventure they propose. 

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