I can hardly believe that I have been a student midwife for a month now. The last 4 weeks have just flown by, with induction week, starting proper lectures and starting to learn some clinical skills. When they tell you the midwifery degree is intense, they aren’t lying!
On Monday we started a new module – Preparation for Professional Practice. It was a little overwhelming, especially to be given our first assignment! This is based around SWOT analysis – our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. I’m going to spend a little time thinking around this, as this writing has to be done reflectively. I think having some maternity experience is definitely a strength, but there are plenty of things I think will be weaknesses for me, and I really need to get out into clinical practice to see how I can work on those.
Tuesday should have been a lecture day on the mechanisms of labour, but my train was cancelled, which was a little frustrating! Luckily one of the girls popped the lecture on Facebook Live for me, so I caught up from home. It was interesting to hear about the different ways of assessing progress in labour – not just from traditional methods such as vaginal examinations, but from looking for the purple line, and knowing the woman you are caring for well.
On Wednesday I worked a bank shift in the antenatal clinic.
Thursday was manual handling day. Sounds pretty dull, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. The morning was actually basic life support – learning how and when to provide CPR and use a defibrillator. After lunch we moved onto the patient manual handling, learning how to use hospital equipment to move patients safely. We had a go with some of the equipment, and I especially enjoyed watching one of the cohort members being lifted in a hoist 😉
Friday was another clinical skills day, and it was pretty jam packed! We started with catheterisation, learning how to correctly insert and remove a female catheter. Next up was vaginal examination, using rubber vaginas to learn how to recognise cervical dilation. It was a really useful session, and I was pleased that I was able to identify different stages. After lunch we moved on to CTG’s, which look much more complicated than they actually are. I now understand what accelerations and decelerations mean, and when to be concerned. Finally, we learnt about partograms, and how to complete these during labour. It’s great to actually start to understand what all the labour notes and acronyms mean.
Next week we have 3 pretty full on days, covering a whole heap of midwifery issues, and I want to make a real start on my reflective writing assessment too, so it looks set to be another busy one!