Midwife Mondays 74: Newborn life support & night shifts!

So this past week has, again, felt a bit split up. I guess thats just how this year is going to feel, with odd days in uni throughout placement blocks, and I’m starting to get a little bit used to it, but it does mess with your brain a little.

We had one day in uni this week, working on our Emergency Midwifery Skills module – and this time it was Newborn Life Support (so not a small topic!) We have two OSCE exams for this Emergency Midwifery Skills module, the first being Newborn Life Support, so it was a day we had to really concentrate for!

I was expecting this day to be completely daunting, but actually a lot of it felt quite logical and not too overwhelming – its just a process, and once you learn the steps, I imagine it’ll all come together. Obviously, in a real emergency context, the adrenalin will be flowing more, but I do feel like at least this part of the OSCE shouldn’t be too awful….she says!

This week I also did two night shifts. After a pretty rough start to the placement last week (read all about it in last weeks post) I was so ready for this week to be really great – but I was really anxious about it actually – because after those two shifts, I really didn’t think I could hack this 7 weeks of it.

My first shift I was on with my actual placement mentor, and it was actually a lot better than the first two last week. It was a busy one, but I felt like I could be independent as well as being supported and having someone to run my care by – how it should be. Finding time for paperwork is something I struggled with on this placement when I was here last, and again we didn’t manage to look over my “start of placement” paperwork on this shift so that’ll have to wait until the next shift, but that’s not the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination.

My second night shift was a bit more busy, and by about 4am I was really starting to feel it. I actually felt a bit ill towards the end of my shift – nights just take it out of you, and I think I’m still learning the best way to cope with them. Needless to say, come 8.15am I was definitely ready to hop in the car and drive home to my bed!

Overall, this postnatal placement is still definitely not my favourite placement area, but I do think I am enjoying it more that I did when I was here in first year.
I’m starting to come to the realisation that I’m probably just not really a postnatal midwife – I know I’m an adrenalin-junkie, and so I do thrive in a more high-risk, delivery type environment.

I do also feel like my impression of this postnatal area is changed hugely by the fact that this area is quite often short staffed, and so it really does feel like you can’t give the care you should be able to – there’s just too much to get done. You can’t spend 25 minutes helping a woman breastfeed, because when you come out you’ll have half a dozen women waiting for pain relief and asking for help. It just feels like you can’t do your job to the best of your ability, and that’s really not a great feeling. Ah well, I guess everyone has their preferences, and some people love it!

Let’s see what this next week has to offer…

To read last week’s Midwife Mondays post, click here:


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