Apply for an Internship at The Doula Project this Spring!

The Doula Project is now accepting applications for a spring internship. By joining the Doula Project, you will have the opportunity to work with people across the spectrum of pregnancy in NYC. Please see below for more details and the full application.

Organization’s Mission:

The Doula Project is an NYC-based organization that provides free compassionate care and emotional, physical, and informational support to women and people across the spectrum of pregnancy. We work to create a society in which all pregnant women and people have access to the care and support they need during their pregnancies and the ability to make healthy decisions for themselves, whether they face birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal anomaly, or abortion.

The Doula Project has local and national programming. Locally, we organize and train volunteers on the doula model of care in abortion clinics. We place our trained doulas in clinics that we partner with and manage the relationship between the two. We also partner with an adoption agency and birth centers in NYC to provide free birth doula support to their clients. We organize monthly meetings for our doulas which include skills-based trainings and a chance to talk about their experiences as doulas and connect with other doulas in the project. Nationally, we provide training, guidance, and resources to activists and health professionals interested in the abortion doula model of care.

Internship Description:

A huge part of being a doula is having the desire and capacity to support another person through a powerful physical and emotional journey: pregnancy. This spring, we are looking for an awesome and engaged intern to help us serve people across the spectrum of pregnancy in New York City clinics and hospitals in the following ways:

  • 60% of the intern’s position will be to work as a doula daily in the abortion clinics we partner with. At the onset of the internship, we will provide our intern with a 12-hour classroom training we provide on the abortion doula model of care, followed by supervised clinic training. Interns will spend 5-8 hours a day serving as a doula and patient advocate, 4-5 days a week, or as needed. This involves traditional doula roles of providing emotional, physical, and informational support to clients. Interns will be with clients before, during and after procedures. They will spend time in the waiting and recovery rooms and be present in the procedure and operating rooms while patients undergo their terminations.
  • 5% of the internship will be time to read, watch, and learn about all the different aspects of pregnancy. In order to be a good doula, it is very important the intern have a comprehensive understanding of what happens during pregnancy and its outcomes. We will facilitate this by providing reading material, opportunities to attend workshops and trainings, and significant opportunities to watch abortion procedures and speak with residents and attending doctors.
  • 15% of the internship will be working on the birth side of our project. (If an intern is already trained as a birth doula, this time could be more significant). We do not provide certified birth doula training, but there will be opportunities to attend a birth with a trained doula, meet our clients and partner organizations, and speak with birth doulas who are part of our project. We will also provide opportunities for the intern to learn about adoption and attend trainings with our partner organization, Spence Chapin. If an intern chooses to do their birth doula training in conjunction with this internship we will include their training time as part of the internship and help match them to birth clients. If an intern is already a doula, we will match them to birth clients at the onset of their internship.
  • 20% of the internship will be to provide programmatic and communications support to the project coordinators. This includes: helping organize monthly meetings, sending out scheduling reminders to doulas, updating our website and social networking sites, editing and writing pieces of our training toolkit, and other tasks as they come up.
  • If an intern is interested in working on an independent project for 10-15% of their time, the above percentages of time are negotiable.

The Doula Project was started by two pro-choice birth doulas, one of whom will be the intern’s direct supervisor. We have been building our organization for more than four years, and this spring promises to be a very exciting and groundbreaking time for us. Being allowed into the room with a person who is facing birth or abortion is an awesome responsibility, an amazing opportunity, and above all, a privilege. We look forward to having the support, energy, and skills that a intern would bring to our work.

Skills Needed:

  • previous clinical experience ideal, clinical inclination a must;
  • currently a birth doula and/or strong knowledge of pregnancy, childbirth and abortion; if not currently a birth doula, willing to seek out training and scholarships with the DP’s assistance;
  • interested in direct service work, working with patients/clients daily;
  • ability to communicate easily and effectively with large groups of people;
  • capacity to support people facing difficult and emotional situations;
  • capacity to work in high-stress, high-endurance settings;
  • capacity to work in hospitals/clinics daily, not behind a desk in an office;
  • extremely extroverted, outgoing personality, comfortable with meeting new people daily;
  • comfortable working with medical professionals and being exposed to blood and medical procedures, including second trimester abortion procedures (remember, they’re much different than first trimester procedures!)
  • comfortable with touching patients/clients and providing physical support measures;
  • self-motivated and independent;
  • comfortable with taking on leadership roles;
  • basic computer skills;
  • strong written and oral skills

We want to stress that this is a direct service position – anyone looking to work in an office should not apply. While this position will be highly supervised, the nature of this work is geared toward people who are interested in working independently with patients as well as in collaboration with doctors and medical professionals. Since the majority of the direct service work will involve talking to patients, hearing their stories, and advocating for them, we are looking for someone who is outgoing, a good listener, and has A LOT of patience and tact. Additionally, because we work in hospitals, interns will be drug-tested at the beginning of the internship as part of the hospital physical and should be prepared to pass that test.

Language Requirements: English; Spanish highly desired.

Location: The internship takes place in various clinics and hospitals throughout the NYC area, mainly in Manhattan and Brooklyn, all near public transportation. We currently run our abortion service out of one of NYC’s largest public hospitals, Planned Parenthood’s , and Choices Women’s Center in Long Island City, Queens.

Work Hours: Flexible Hours, Minimum 20 hours per week. Schedules will be given on a monthly basis and will be based on the needs of the clinic. If the intern is attending a birth, scheduling arrangements will be made to accommodate time off depending on the length and timing of the labor. Administrative tasks may be done from home, if preferred. We are happy to honor requests made in advance for time off. Please note that there are times where we may need a doula urgently, without much advance notice. Unless the intern has requested time off beforehand, s/he will be the first person we contact.

Dress Code: Casual and clean, but professional. No bra straps, midriff-bearing tops, mini-skirts or shorts; comfortable shoes. Scrubs can either be bought beforehand or can be provided as needed, usually at least one day a week.

How to apply:

Please write a cover letter that includes a brief personal statement that responds to the following questions (limit 100-500 words): What does the phrase “Spectrum of Choice” mean to you? How do you see this phrase as being relevant to being a doula?

Please also submit a resume highlighting your work in reproductive health, rights, or justice, counseling, social work, doula work, our health services. Please also submit 2 references who would not mind being contacted.

Applications must be submitted by November 27th, 2011 to lauren@doulaproject.org