Midwife Mondays 148: “Catch” 34 and how to be a practise supervisor.

Getting so close to the end of the course now; genuinely can’t quite believe it!

When I started, everyone said it would go quickly and I don’t think I believed them – but it really has! Only a matter of weeks left and I just need to submit the final few bits of paperwork and things and then it’s just a case of hitting my 40 “catches” and finishing out my practice hours – then I’ll be a midwife! Eek!

Last week was a bit gentler than the previous week (with four catches in two nights; it couldn’t get much busier!)

I only had two shifts in the hospital, but also had my final ever lecture in uni, so not just lazing around by any means!

My first shift had a bit of a bitty start with a few odd jobs and postnatal discharges, but then around midday a woman was admitted having contractions. I saw her in and after just half an hour of observing her, I felt that it was time to declare her in active labour. She wanted to use the pool, as she had delivered her first child in the pool and had such a positive experience with that so I set it all running for her. By the time the pool was full, her contractions were much stronger and she was starting to feel the urge to push.

We advised her to follow her instincts and follow her body, which she did, and less than 3 hours from arriving at the hospital her beautiful baby boy was born in the water and lifted up to snuggle into his mum’s chest.

All birth is magical, and fascinating, but what was particularly interesting about this birth wasn’t actually the birth but the placenta, which had a unique cord insertion called a “velamentous insertion”. This is where the cord inserts into the membranes rather than the middle of the placenta itself; it can be quite risky because at that point the vessels aren’t protected with the same jelly as they are through the rest of the cord and can be vulnerable to rupture. In this case, everything had gone perfectly fine, and the baby had come out perfectly safe, thankfully, but the placenta itself was very friable and the placenta had to be pushed out 100% by the mum’s effort as any traction on the cord itself felt very friable and like the cord would snap.

Thankfully, it all came out fine and it was just a very interesting learning moment rather than anything else. Really interesting to see.

We had our final ever lecture in uni last week; focussing on being a practice supervisor and how that will work with the changes being made to midwifery education. In case you aren’t aware, at the moment, for each placement, a student midwife will have a named mentor, who will have done a mentorship course, who they have to work at least 40% of their placement with and then they get graded at the end of the placement. Over the next couple of years, there are changes being made where students can work with any midwife, for any number of shifts, and then the grading is done using a build up of feedback from each shift. This means that as soon as we qualify (dependant on where we end up working) we could be working with students and supervising their training.

This session in uni went over the details of these changes being made, and how they are being enforced in the local area, as well as giving us some tips as to the best way to support students in practice (mostly drawn from our own experience of working with brilliant mentors as well as those who have been…ahem….less than inspiring…) Personally, I’m really looking forward to working with students, and using my own experiences to help them learn, the way my own mentors have supported and helped me.

My second shift of the week was a weird one. There have been a few like this recently but we literally had nothing come in all day. The whole hospital was really quiet; it was almost spooky…! We spent the day doing admin bits, and I finished one of my last bits of written work, and then toured a group of people around the unit so they could see the hospital and where they need to go when their time comes; and then it was the end of the day. It was really odd, but quite a nice chilled one after such a busy week the week before!

Of course after such a gentle week, we ended up having a really busy weekend – we are selling M’s house and it needed a bit of a paint-job doing on it before the sales photos so we spent the weekend climbing over the kitchen surfaces and up ladders painting the whole house – needless to say, we both came back after two full days of over 12 hours painting, absolutely shattered!

Image by unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt

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