Midwife Mondays 86: Newborn Life Support Exam & Riding with the paramedics!

Wow, this week has been a jam-packed one. Literally can’t believe that our Newborn Life Support exam was only a week ago – it feels like a lot longer!

So, I guess I’ll start at the beginning. On Monday last week I had my Newborn Life Support OSCE (practical exam). I was first on the list and so come 8am on Monday morning I was already parked up at uni, and doing a bit of panic-revision ahead of the exam. My exam was at 9.15 and I was out by about 9.38 – it’s only a 20 minute exam, with a little bit of checking machines etc first.

Just like with my OSCE in first year, I was really nervous – I think it’s just the nature of the exam, it feels like there is  lot more pressure on yo to have your thoughts in some coherent form, rather than with a written exam when you can really think through your phrasing and come up with a sentence that actually makes sense.

I did get a little flustered when I first went into the room, but pulled it all together and managed to get through it – and was so so glad when it was done. Yes, it’s nerve-wracking going first, but I was so glad to be the first to finish too!

I sat around afterwards with a few of the girls yet to go in, just to wind myself down a bit, and then drove home. It was absolutely gorgeous beaming sunshine so I decided to give myself the rest of the day completely off, laid a blanket out on the grass in our little garden and dived head first into a new book (not midwifery, an actual fiction book!)

On Wednesday I had an appointment with one of the ladies on my caseload. This was her 36 week appointment, which is one of my favourites. They get to come to the hospital and have their appointment in one of the birthing rooms on the midwife-led birth centre, we do a normal antenatal appointment, but then we also chat through the birth preferences and they even get a tour of the unit too. It’s just really special and both parents often say that this is the appointment when everything starts feeling very real and exciting. So that all went really well and now I’ve just gotta wait for the phone to ring when she goes into labour – eek!

Thursday and Friday, as you will have seen if you follow me on instagram and watch my stories (which I’m doing a lot more of by the way, in case you are interested!), I was working with the Paramedics. As part of the course, we have to undertake 60 hours of non-midwifery shifts – and this can be in any area of the hospital – so I had arranged a few shifts with the paramedics. I’ve got another week set aside for non-midwifery later in the year when I’m going to try to do some other things, but I knew that I wanted three shifts of the 6(ish) to be with the paramedics as it’s always something I’ve found fascinating.

Honestly, working with the paramedics was pretty much exactly as I had expected. There are lots of calls to the elderly and loads of time-wasters. The only thing I expected and didn’t see was drunk people – but then that might be because I was on day shifts….

I didn’t see anything major or horrible, but I think that is probably quite an accurate representation of the kind of day to day work that the paramedics do – it’s not all car accidents and cardiac arrests – a lot of it is elderly people who have fallen over, or people who could really have gone to see their GP or driven themselves to the hospital, but calling an ambulance was easier…

Needless to say, it’s made me even more determined to never call an ambulance unless I’m literally dying (speaking about myself personally, not for the women in my care, if they need an ambulance for any reason, I will, of course call one!) – I just think I’d be mortified to have an ambulance turn up, even if I really did need one – they deal with so many time wasters every day, and their time is so valuable!

So, yeah, it’s been a busy week! This coming week is ALL about revision! We’ve got our next OSCE a week today and this one is the big one – the really scary one – so I’m doing some serious swotting up and making extremely colourful revision notes!

Hope you all have a good week!

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

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