Midwife Mondays 37: Tube feeding, Taking more blood & into Theatre again!

Yes, I’ve done it again, I’ve missed Monday! The past few weeks have been so busy, both with work and with life, that I’ve just not had the time to sit down to write my posts in time – I will get better I promise!!

I had planned to write this post on Sunday and schedule it to go out on Monday as usual, but I ended up back in the hospital on Sunday with one of the ladies from my caseload so the blog post had to be set aside…I couldn’t exactly ask her to stop contracting for a few hours so I could finish my blog post could I?!

So, what have I been up to this week then? Another week on the postnatal ward and I do think I am gradually getting given a bit more independence and a few more responsibilities.

Blood Taking
I’ve taken more blood this week – two more ladies and I managed to get the vein first try on both of them. I thought that taking blood would be more difficult but I think that actually the tricky part is having the confidence to do it, rather than the actual technique. The idea of missing the vein and having to try again is such a horrible thought, it’s almost enough to put you off trying it and so every woman I take blood from successfully, I can definitely feel my confidence building and the idea of doing it isn’t half as scary!

Tube feeding
This week I also got to tube feed a baby. I should clarify that I didn’t place the NG tube or anything like that, but having observed a few tube feeds on some slightly poorly babies, my mentor let me try one myself. Essentially, all I had to do was hold up the syringe and let the milk travel down the tube using gravity, and then stop the flow of the milk if the baby got a bit sicky, but it was another new experience for me.

Paperwork Timing
This placement has been such a busy one, it has been very tricky to find the time to fit in the paperwork that is needed for the placement. The assessment paperwork we have for placement has several different parts to it.

– There are the various skills that we need to have signed off – these can be anything from being able to work well with a team, all the way through to knowing emergency protocol or being able to document accurately.

– There is the book where we get the things we actually do on a day to day basis signed off – if we help a woman hand express, that goes in. If we look after 7 women postnatally, they go in and each get signed for. If we deliver a baby, that goes in (we have to get 40 births in our three years to qualify)

– There is the part of the paperwork where we get our final grading for each placement, with feedback etc

– And then there is the placement aims and mid placement review.

This final part is what I have been trying to fit in this week. We write down our aims at the start of a placement and then we have a mid placement review to discuss our progression and how we could improve. But this placement has been so busy that it’s been so hard to fit this in. We have had several shifts where we have planned to do it and then 13 hours have passed and we haven’t managed to fit it in, again! On other placements we have been able to fit it in really easily, but this placement is so busy, we sometimes don’t even have lunch until 5pm, so fitting in an additional 20 minutes with paperwork has been really blooming’ complicated. We have now managed to fit this in, but definitely later than we would have liked!

Another Caseload Baby
Another one of my lovely caseload ladies delivered this week. She had an incredibly long labour, bless her, and then in the end the baby’s condition was deteriorating to the point where the decision was made to deliver the baby by a caesarean section. It was so lovely to be the one to pass her and her partner their gorgeous baby boy after their incredibly long few days of labour – having met her at her booking appointment and being there throughout her pregnancy (I’ve seen her more than any of the other ladies on my caseload purely down to the luck of when she has booked her appointments) – very special to be there with them.

Image by Ruthson Zimmerman

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

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