This week we finally got to work in an actual hospital ward! Yes, it was in the university and the patients were mannequins but we were actually doing something practical. There is so much to learn on this course, and we know that, but we have all been absolutely gagging to do anything practical since we started just to reinforce that we are actually on the course, so when we saw that we were scheduled to be in the skills lab on Monday we were so excited!
On Monday we were learning the hospital protocols for bed-making, including changing the sheets while there is still a patient in the bed (which sounds so complicated but was actually much easier than expected!) we also learnt how to do bed-bathing which we were told can help bring a woman back from the brink if she is really struggling in labour. Frankly, we were all a little sceptical that it could do that until we had a chance to be the patient while our colleagues practised on us (yes, we are all getting very close!) and I have to say, it is amazing! Just someone running a warm, wet cloth over your arms and feet, massaging and generally making you feel a bit fresher just makes such a huge difference!
We then spent the rest of the day practising our maternal observations and, drum roll please, I could actually find and take manual blood pressures! Yes, I now have a blood pressure. My colleagues are alive again! Yay! Only four days before, everyone I practised on was dead as a doornail, and on Monday everyone was alive again! Yay!
So yeah, Monday was a good day!
On Tuesday we were back in lectures learning more about the menstrual cycle, reproduction and contraception. I am now a font of all knowledge about trying to avoid getting pregnant – which is always a useful skill!
Wednesday was our study day off so I spent the day at my desk, reading over everything we had done the previous week and also putting together this list of all the gorgeous autumn boots that I would love to wake up and find nestled inside my wardrobe….!
Thursday was an intense study day. We were back in lectures and had only 2 hours to learn all we needed to learn about Embryology, Placenta Formation and Amniotic Fluid. I have never taken so many notes in my life! I had cramp in my wrist about an hour and then we had another hours to go! It was, however, completely fascinating, and I loved seeing how the embryo grows and the different stages of growth it goes through – Definitely something I’m going to do some more reading about to be able to pass on to mothers when they want to know about the progression of their baby in the uterus, how big it is/what part of it is developing this week etc.
In the afternoon we were learning about Diet and Nutrition in Pregnancy and thankfully our lecturer had realised that we’d had a pretty intense morning and so we had a group activity based lecture rather than a sit-and-take-notes kind of lecture, which was just as well as much brain was pretty much mush by that point!
Friday was an exciting day, we spent the morning looking at structures for reflective writing in preparation for our first assessment essay which is due in just before we break for Christmas, then in the afternoon we finally got our ‘Practise Assessment Documents” – these are essentially a student midwife’s bible! Whenever we achieve a skill, it needs to be signed off in these documents. And we have to complete every single skill before we can qualify. This also includes caring for at least 40 women in labour, witnessing 10 normal births and undertaking at least 40 normal births and at least 100 Antenatal appointment and 100 postnatal appointments – amongst much much more!
We had heard so much about these documents and now we finally have them, and we have to keep them by our sides and safe for the next 3 years – no pressure!
It’s been a good week – a lot of the talk has been about preparing for going out on placement – we only have 3 weeks left of theory before we go out there! I still feel like I don’t know enough to be actually dealing with women and their babies, but I’m sure they have thought it all through by sending us out there so soon…..Hope so anyway! Eek!
Right, back into the skills lab we go – Today in full uniform for the first time! 🙂
To read last week’s “Midwife Mondays” post, click here!