Ok, firstly, sorry that this post (and the next post!) are late – for some reason it feels like I really and honestly haven’t stopped for the past couple of weeks and I simply haven’t been able to find an hour to sit down to write!
So, where have I been? Well, for the past two weeks I have been on my Gynae placement, which is a majority observational placement, aiming to give us a wider understanding of all things gynae, as well as early pregnancy.
I have always said I will be totally honest on here, and so I have to admit, this was not the most exciting placement I’ve had on this course. It’s been very interesting, particularly observing the clinics, but the actual placement itself has made me feel like a spare part on more than one occasion, and on a couple of occasions, I’ve been made to feel like I’m really imposing, rather than on a special organised observational placement. I don’t want to sound negative, but I said that I would always say the honest truth about this course on my blog – the good and the bad – and in this case, it’s shown me the very different attitudes that professionals can have to students being around; both positive and negative.
That said, there have also been several professionals who have been really excited to have a student midwife observing, and one who made a real effort to get to know me and ask about the course etc, as well as answering my questions and explaining each case as the clinic went on…I suppose it’s each professional’s personal approach isn’t it?
This first week on Gynae, I was working 3 long days.
On the Monday I started by observing the Pregnancy Advisory Clinic, where women go when they have decided to terminate their pregnancy – there, a discussion is had into their reasons for termination and their support system, then if the decision is made to go ahead, the termination is booked into the diary, the procedure explained and the relevant forms signed before they come back later in the week to go ahead with it all.
On the Tuesday I was supposed to be observing the reproductive medicine clinic, but they already had a student doctor observing so they couldn’t accommodate for me too, so I observed the paediatric and adolescent gynae clinic which was really interesting – this clinic had a real variety of patients, from a 16 year old girl who had hit menopause, to a 21 year old who hadn’t yet hit puberty – it was fascinating to see how it works when your body doesn’t function exactly as it should, and the plans the consultants make to try to help the situation.
My last shift of the week was on the Friday, and I started the day observing the Urogynae clinic, where women go if they are having trouble with things like incontinence or prolapse. This was a really interesting clinic to observe and with such a variety of ages to the women, I’ve never felt more driven to remember my pelvic floor exercises!
I spent the latter part of my day observing the colposcopy clinic, where women go when they have had abnormal smear results. It was fascinating to see the cervix up close on the screen, and to observe the procedure when the results have come back as particularly high risk and abnormal features are seen on the cervix. It’s a really anxious time for the women, but the team made each of them so comfortable and treated them with such dignity, it was really lovely to see.
Like I said, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag, the clinics were all really interesting and I do think I learnt a lot, but I did at times feel, rightly or wrongly, like some people didn’t really want me there….but I guess that’s just how it goes…
Image by Josh Harrison
To read last week’s Midwife Mondays post, click here: