We had the good fortune of connecting with Charla O’Neil and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charla, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I believe that most people including professionals do not understand what midwifery care consists of and/or how that care is provided by a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) . Many will question the role as “you do home births”? I want to educate individuals that as a CNM I am an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (Nurse practitioner) and have a Master’s degree in Midwifery. I have a four year undergraduate BS in Nursing then completed graduate school and a clinical rotation/residency in Midwifery. I have been a CNM for 25 years and I safely provide care to women of ALL stages of the lifecycle including obstetrics and gynecology. My office practice consists of obstetrical patients and full gynecological services. All of my patients are delivered in the labor and delivery unit of my local hospital. I have separate office space that is used for all other ob/gyn services. There are many aspects of my job that are probably unknown by most of today’s society. I perform many procedures in the office including annual exams, gynecological problem visits, insertion of IUD’s and subcutaneous long acting contraception, colposcopies, biopsies, ultrasound, circumcisions for newborn males, and many other gynecological procedures. I have a full scope practice and also have further training/certification as a Certified First Assist in surgery. I assist MD’s with all types of surgery and cesarean sections.. I have a collaborating MD that I refer any complicated cases outside of my capabilities of care.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I pride myself on basing my practice with a focus on education and learning with every office visit. Spending time with patients and making sure they understand all aspects of their care is of the utmost importance to me. In today’s society of medicine, I feel providers spend less time with their patients and more time on the computer which is unfortunate. I worked many hours over the last 25 years, gaining knowledge, continuing to improve practice and providing excellent patient care. I have been fortunate to have the trust of an MD throughout my career in order to succeed. It has not been easy. There is a constant struggle for many CNM’s in the professional arena for respect as a practitioner. Early in my career I had to battle with a hospital for privileges to deliver my patients. It was a long and grueling process that was a great mental and emotional obstacle. I learned many lessons over the course of my career thus far. First was to NEVER give up. Many times early in my career when I was fighting with administration, other physicians, and hospitals trying to establish privileges, I wanted to give up and stop the struggle. I kept going, continued to take the backlash and criticism of others, and finally I won and was granted privileges to deliver my patients. Secondly, I continue to learn everyday. There is always something in medicine you have not learned or seen and I have further gained experience by the more volume of patients I see. Finally, I learned that the most important thing in my career and life is to NEVER give up. Never let others keep you down. Believe in yourself. Everything else will come to pass. I want the world to know that I am a PROUD Certified Nurse Midwife, wife, and mother. I absolutely love my job, love my patients and would not trade my career for anything. My story will continue to grow as each and every baby is welcomed to the world and every woman that I see has the care they want and deserve.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting Boca Raton, or south Florida for a week, I would definitely start out with a great night out of dinner and drinks at an authentic Italian restaurant. A couple of my favorites are Arturo’s in Boca Raton or Casa D’Angelo in Fort Lauderdale. A full 4-5 course meal with Italian wines and dessert. At Casa D’Angelo getting a reservation in the wine room is the best! We would definitely need to spend time at the beach and walk the miles of sand with many stops at local bars, restaurants for refreshments! I would love to take them to Marlins Park for a baseball game as it is a beautiful stadium. Finally probably take the Bright Line train down to Miami for a weekend on South Beach of sun and fun. The most eclectic place to eat is Barton G. I love the presentation of food and drink. It is like no other! There are so many other things to take in which would including shopping and a possible boat/yacht trip for the day.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to definitely give a shout out to my husband and family. My parents were supportive in my quest to become a CNM. They took care of my children at a young age so I was able to go to school full time and work full time to make ends meet when I was in graduate school. Without that support I would have never been able to succeed. My husband gave me my first midwifery job. As a practicing OB/GYN MD, he was my mentor and taught me everything I know about obstetrics and gynecology. He had faith and trust in me and gave me the opportunity to be the accomplished professional I am today. Finally I want to thank my two beautiful grown children. When they were young and I was working more than I was home, they never questioned or harbored any feelings but love and support for “mom”.