Midwife Mondays 32: First Week back and our First Exam!

This week has been the first week back after the Easter Holidays and it’s been a fairly busy one – hence only just getting around to writing this post!

We had Monday off as a study day, because Tuesday was our first exam of the course. Ok, technically it was a mock exam, but as far as we were all concerned, it was the first exam we had taken…and obviously we all wanted to do well.

Our drug administration exam is a computer based exam, which tests our ability to administer the correct dosage of drugs.
It starts with tablets – for example, the patient is prescribed 1g of paracetamol, which is available in 500mg tablets, how many tablets do you give? etc
It then moves on to quantities of liquid medicines in cups or syringes, IM injections via syringe (with a little plunger that you pull back to the correct dosage) and finally IV drip rate calculations (where you take the volume prescribed, giving set drip rate and the time over which the volume should be administered and you work out the drips per minute needed.)

So we did our exam on Tuesday morning and had a brief talk through our Practise Assessment Documents (the books we get signed throughout our course to sign off our skills and competencies) – then we were free for the rest of the day.

This week we also had a day of lectures covering the role of a midwife in the postnatal period – things you don’t think about like the fact that the midwife is still responsible for checking on the wellbeing of the baby for the first ten days after birth (or until discharged to the health visitor), even if the baby has been taken into care etc. It’s always important to remember the unusual situations, and what the role of the midwife is in these situations as well as the every day situations.

One of the ladies on my caseload had an elective Caesarean this week which was really lovely to be involved with. If you are interested in birth, you will have seen the videos going around where the drape is dropped at the last minute, so that the mother can actually see her baby delivered. This particular lady really wanted this and the team were so incredibly accommodating – At the moment where they were lifting the baby’s body from her own, they let the drape drop and she was able to witness the actual moment of delivery – it was very very special, and amazing to see. Her beautiful baby boy was then passed straight into my arms, and I walked him around to his parents for a couple of kisses, then straight over to get wiped up and for the dad to trim the cord down – something which was particularly important to them as he hadn’t been able to with their first.

Being involved in this special day with this particular couple has really emphasised the effect that following a couple’s birth preferences can have. This couple had a few very simple requests, but the team being able to follow them made such a huge difference to them – I spoke to them towards the end of the day and they were so pleased with the whole experience – it really meant so so much to them that the whole team were so accommodating!
For myself, I know that this will become even more of a key part of my own practise than it already is moving forwards – a birth plan is just that, a plan, but if it can be followed as closely as possible (safety and policy/guidelines being taken into account of course) it really makes such a difference.

We also had a day in the skills lab this week, focussing on Active Birth – moving away from the bed and utilising birthing stools, various positions on the floor, on mats, using a sling, using a birthing ball, and also, of course, water birth. This day for me was more of a consolidation of everything I have seen – I’ve been very lucky to have worked with several brilliant mentors in a birth setting ands I’ve been lucky to witness all of these in practise – and they really do make a difference!

This weekend I’ve been making notes on the next essay we have due in about a month’s time – a reflection on our last placement. Ideally, I want to get this done and submitted before I start my next placement next week….we shall see if that actually happens in practice, but it’s all good intentions! 🙂

Image by unsplash-logoSinziana Susa

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

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