Midwife Mondays 4: Life Support and Foetal Skulls

Every week of this crazy journey that passes, I feel like I’m learning more. I know that sounds really obvious; I’m on a degree, I should be learning things… but I really feel like I am learning more skills and facts each week, like I can tick them off the gigantic mile long list of things I’m going to need to learn before I am qualified. It feels like I am actually learning things all the time. Like I can see myself developing as each day or week passes – and it feels good!

We have learnt so much this week – I still can’t quite process that it all happened in one week! (And I’m thanking ALL THE LUCKY STARS that I get a 3 day weekend this week, just to let my brain catch up!)

On Monday we were back in the skills lab, this time in full uniform for the first time – everyone looked so smart! We actually looked like midwives! We spent the morning doing “Moving and Handling” – essentially how not to injure yourself when you are working in the hospital, and then the afternoon learning all our Basic Life Support skills. This was quite exciting really – learning how to resuscitate mannequins and put each other in the recovery position – I knew most of it already, but it was a great reminder, and it felt really special to do it in uniform and in the “hospital” environment of the skills lab!

Tuesday was another research day so we spent most of the day looking over articles and discussing the angle of their research and their approach etc. We got interrupted in the afternoon by a fire alarm and for a few seconds I was transported back to secondary school, with the excitement of being allowed out of lessons for a fire drill….it felt a bit naughty – Ha!

Wednesday was our weekly free study day. My fabulous mum came up on Tuesday night and so we spent the day on Wednesday looking around the city and having a bit of a catch up and an explore. It was so lovely to have her up and to show her a bit of my new life up here – and I did get some studying work done in the evening after she left too, promise!

On Thursday we were learning all about antenatal care & screening. As my first placement is out in the community, all of this will be really relevant and so knowing it now will be really useful! Still can’t believe we go out into placement in less than 3 weeks! Thursday afternoon we had a lecture on Dementia awareness – All health and social care staff across the NHS have to have dementia awareness training – which I actually think is a fantastic protocol to have set in place – you never know when it will be relevant!Friday was a day that really hit home that I am a Student Midwife. We were learning all about the parts of the foetal skull and the mechanisms of labour – we had plastic pelvises (Pelvii?) and foetal skulls to practise with, learning all the names for the different foetal positions and the process of normal birth. In the afternoon we watched a video of a real home birth – seeing how normal and safe birth can be. We live in a society that portrays birth as a scary event that can end badly, and although negative outcomes do happen, and it is truly awful when they do, the majority can be normal, un-medicalised, holistic experiences, like the one we were watching. It was fantastic to watch, having never seen a live birth (I’ve seen videos on youtube but nothing quite like this one) and now I just can’t wait to witness my first birth live – hopefully pretty soon!

This week I also got the details of my mentor for my community placement and sorted my shifts, known as “off-duty” (don’t ask me why – I think it is something to do with when midwives and nurses lived in boarding houses but it still doesn’t make that much sense – if anyone can shed any light, please comment below!)

It all feels like we are properly building up to placement now – with only 8 days in uni before we head out – need to try to pick up as much as I can in the next 2 weeks before I have the baptism of fire of my first clinical placement! 🙂

To read last week’s “Midwife Mondays” post, click here!

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  • Reply
    Peppermint Dolly
    October 17, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Such a great post, I’m so excited for you!! I feel like that might be weird…but I really am! My Mom was a nurse and one of my closest friends is a Doctor, so maybe that’s a part of it! 🙂

    Enjoy it all and get as much sleep as you possibly can!!


  • Reply
    October 17, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    I’m really enjoying reading your posts. I completed my access course in June and am due to begin Midwifery in March, which feels forever away. Reading blogs such as yours reminds me of all the excitement that is ahead for me and that it will be well worth the wait! Good luck on your first clinical placement. Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

  • Reply
    Claire A
    October 17, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Really enjoying your blog, it feels like I am right there with you! I have applied for 2017 entry and waiting to hear…I have applied for the shortened course as I am a nurse! Re. the off duty, I guess it just means that you can look forward to the days you have off rather than on??? But I am not sure! Excited to hear about your community experience! Have fun!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Very interesting to read, I am a first year at a Scottish university and we don’t go out to placement until February, nearly 6 months of theory and skills labs before we are set free. Reading this was nice to see what other unis structure is like, we also done the fetal skull and mechanisms of labour this week 🙂 look forward to reading how you get on in placement… Good luck.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Really enjoying your blog! This is my 3rd cycle for midwifery course, and I have an interview next month! Reading your blog just makes me really happy/excited about the journey as a student midwife. I think it’s really good to write a blog about everything you do and have learnt! You will look back one day as see how far you have come. Enjoy the rest of the journey! Xx

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