Midwife Mondays 42: Mock Exam, Guest speakers & Final uni day of First year!

How is our final week in uni for first year done already?!? That has gone so so fast! Now we just have study leave and exams and we are off on our 3 weeks of summer break before starting second year! How crazy is that?!?! Cannot even begin to get my head around how fast time is going at the moment!

So, what did we get up to in our last week as first years?

Well, we started our week off with a mock exam. It was the first “exam” we have done since starting the course and we were all absolutely wetting ourselves with nerves beforehand! I had driven back from Cardiff the night before so my brain was basically asleep too which I don’t think helped the nerve situation!

The exam itself, frankly, wasn’t as bad as we all thought it would be! We sat in complete silence, followed all the exam protocol etc, and then when the time had passed and we were told to put our pens down, we all breathed a big sigh of relief that it was over and that no-one had actually had a breakdown! We got to mark our own papers – after all, a mock exam is to benefit yourself an show you where your weaknesses are and what you need to work on personally, not to share your good or bad grades with the rest of the class! I was absolutely thrilled to get a pretty darn good mark, though now we are on study leave, I kinda wish I had got a grade that scared me a little more just to kick my revision motivation up a little!

After our exam, we had a guest speaker in to tell us ask about her experience of working as a home birth midwife in america and how it works out there. I can’t remember which state it was that she said she worked in which is annoying, because in the USA, which state you are in really affects midwifery practise, in fact in some states it is illegal to practise as a midwife!
Hearing her stories and some of the experiences she has had was really refreshing actually – after a year of hard work, to be reminded of the wonderful work that midwives do, and what we are doing this all for was really inspiring!

That afternoon we had another guest speaker in, this time to talk about her experience as a service user in the UK, having a baby in one of the hospitals that my uni works at (I am not based there but several of my cohort are)
She had suffered from an antepartum haemorrhage and was telling us about her emergency birth experience following this. It was quite humbling really. She wasn’t telling us because anyone was at fault or anything negative like that, but more just to tell us about her experience as it was a little different to anything that we have experienced so far.
I know it will certainly make me think when I do end up in a situation where I am caring for a woman in her position – particularly relating to communicating what is going on to the father when everything is happening a little fast.

On Tuesday I had another day with one of the NIPE midwives to finish all the baby checks I need signed off for the year, which I did. All 11 are now signed off – another box ticked towards finalising all my paperwork for first year!

We then had a self-led study day on Wednesday and our final day was Thursday.

We spent our final day going over in detail everything we need to do for our OSCE exam. An OSCE is an Objective Strictured Clinical Examination – think of it as a kind of role-play practical exam. This year we have just the one, and it is on all things Breastfeeding. We have to cover Positioning & Attachment, Hand Expression, Syringe Feeding and Cup Feeding, with demonstrations and explanations throughout. As we hadn’t heard too much detail about this exam, we were all writing lots of notes so that we can prepare properly now that we are on study leave. I’m going to try to write some kind of script that I can just learn I think…still scary!

So, now we are on study leave! This week and next week and then we have our OSCE week, then one more week of study leave before Our final hand-in date and two big exams – and then a massive Gin & Tonic I think! 🙂

Image by Hannah Wei

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

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