Tuesday, 2 December 2014

2nd year!

I am well and truly in second year now, with only a few weeks left until Christmas-it’s crazy how it flies by! I am currently buried beneath a mountain of books and work with a couple of deadlines looming around the corner. My lecturers are now starting to say ‘when you’re qualified’, which is both exciting and terrifying! So many students in cohorts above warned me of what is known as ‘the death zone’ (in other words, year 2) - so as you can imagine removing my 1st year badge was particularly daunting. However on my return to placement I was greeted as a valued member of the team. More of the midwives and doctors knew my name, remembered me or trusted me to help them with a task. With experience comes greater responsibility, and the course always had to progress. The workload is somewhat intense, but fortunately I am reasonably organised when it comes to getting work done so I haven’t suffered too badly!

I can feel myself slowly shaping into the professional I will one day become. I’m finding areas in midwifery which I am particularly passionate about, areas I want to make a difference in one day. We had a guest speaker talk to us about the controversial topic of complementary therapies- it was nothing short of fascinating, I’m going to see if there are any legit study days I can attend to expand my understanding .I also had a particularly interesting seminar on family spacing contraception- which has me looking forward to my sexual health placement next year! I would love to specialise in something like that one day.

However; I need to get this degree first! I am presently working on an essay about evidence based practice- I’ve decided to focus on perineal care. This is a hugely debated subject in the field of midwifery and a lot of the evidence isn’t significantly conclusive either way. It is a frustrating essay in many aspects but I am finding it useful- as a healthcare professional it is required of me to have a solid evidence base providing rationale for any clinical decisions I make. The International Confederation of Midwives states ‘Autonomous midwifery practice enables midwives to fulfil their contract with society by providing up-to-date, evidence-based, high quality and ethical care for childbearing women and their families’. This outlines how in order to be a competent and independent midwife, we must update ourselves constantly on the most current and reliable research.

This is my last day of lectures for semester 3- wow it only just hit me as I wrote that! I have arranged a Christmas meal for the student midwives of our cohort after we finish at uni today- I’m really looking forward to socializing with everyone. It’s always sad when we finish lectures and go our separate ways for the placement period!

I start a brand new placement on Post-natal ward next week which I am really looking forward to. I
have been told it will be a challenge- the midwives always seem to be so busy there. I have already met the midwife who will be my mentor when I’ve been working on delivery suite- she is really lovely which takes a lot of the pressure off! I find the post natal period so interesting yet I feel like I don’t know enough about it yet. So I’m sure that the next few weeks shall be a learning curve for me.

I shall keep you updated!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Here goes, this is my first post as a bloggie!

I am a 20-something midwifery student at the University of Greenwich, and I am about to embark upon my second year of training. My life as a student midwife is hectic, challenging and emotional- with this in mind I decided to write down my thoughts and ponderings to reflect on my day-to-day life (and hopefully entertain you in the process).

Where to begin? Whenever I tell people I am studying to become a midwife, the question they always ask me is 'what made you want to become a midwife?’- I guess this is a better place to start than any.

When I was studying A-levels at college, the plan was to become a journalist. I was a bit lost for what to do with my life; I think I was too young to make any serious career decisions. When choosing what courses to undertake, I went with what I was good at previously at school. I chose subjects like English Lit and Journalism. Almost as soon as I started I knew it wasn't right for me.

However, in October 2011 I travelled out to India with my mother who works for a charity based there. One day in Bengaluru I stumbled across a 'child survival clinic'. Women would attend 
ante-natally and post-delivery with their children, and learn about preventative life threats, hygiene and infant feeding. The surrounding area was deprived and impoverished, the slums being a hot-zone for the likes of Malaria, HIV and tropical disease. These pregnant women were generally young, yet some of them were pregnant for the 5th or 6th time. I attended this centre for a few days and was fascinated by the work I was witnessing. As a naturally inquisitive person, this aspect of life that I knew barely anything about drew me in.

I decided to look into Midwifery on my return to the UK. I was haunted by what I had seen in India and wanted to learn more. I haven't had any children of my own, so the world of child-bearing was an entirely new and exciting one for me. The applicant-to-place ratio was initially off-putting, but I like a challenge! Although I was studying courses that seemed irrelevant, I worked hard at them to achieve the best grades. The idea of becoming a midwife became increasingly dominant in my mind, so upon finishing college I applied to university. I started a job in healthcare, got used to bodily fluids and paper work and night shifts.

People kept telling me not to bother, how I should apply for nursing first to give me a better chance. The doubts spurred me on even more; I just worked harder to make my application stand out! I can be stubborn, so before I got ahead of myself I wanted to make sure this career was definitely for me.

I worked and saved for a year and spent thousands of pounds to travel out to Africa, to see midwifery on a more intimate level. As I mentioned before, I haven't had any children of my own and have never been pregnant, so I wanted to at least witness a birth first hand before commencing midwifery training. Fortunately, this pricey experience confirmed to me the beginnings of a passion. I fell head over heels for the profession; I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life!

I haven't looked back since.

Until next time, Aimee