Thursday, 19 February 2015

More Lectures

I am well and truly into lectures now, and I am hoping to get started on my assignments soon to get them out of the way.

A few exciting prospects have surfaced- including the opportunity to write an article with one of the senior lecturers. To be published before I have even graduated would be such a huge honour- so I will be working hard over the next few weeks to write a really decent piece.

Next week I am attending a conference on FGC (Female genital cutting, often referred to as FGM). It is a topic I am particularly passionate about so I intend to learn how the NHS and department of health intend to implement services and safeguarding measures in my region, and I will hopefully expand my knowledge on the subject in the process.

I am also getting together with a group of women who have kindly agreed to meet with me through a local division of a national bereavement charity. They will share with me their personal experiences of miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss, in the hope for me to develop my understanding as a student midwife. I am hoping this will equip me to provide a high standard of individualised, compassionate care to the families I come across who are going through these incredibly difficult times. This experience will hopefully complement the learning I have undertaken over the past week in lectures. I have benefitted from both a theoretical lecture and a workshop on bereavement in midwifery. Although I found the lectures hard-hitting and difficult; I am grateful we have had the opportunity to learn more, as it is important to be as prepared as possible for practice.

This week I received my results for the dreaded pathophysiology exam- and by some miracle I got a high 2:1! I am ecstatic with this result as I feel I struggle with the general science element of the course. We studied pathophysiology alongside the nursing students who are much more likely to come across anaphylaxis, pneumonia or other critical conditions. I am always more confident when I’m being examined on something I have already learned about or witnessed in practice. The clientele that midwives work with are generally young healthy women going through a natural physiological process.  However- I worked hard and with my result I feel more confident in identifying symptoms in a case where a deviation from normality may indicate a medical problem.

Until next time!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Back to lectures

It’s my first week back in lectures, which I am actually really happy about. (Not that I’m a geek or anything). It is such a relief to have the pressure of placement and juggling assignments behind me for the time being. It also makes a big difference having the weekends off. The 9-5 Monday to Friday regime is great for my social life, especially as I have a lot more energy after spending 8 hours sat in lectures as opposed to 12 hours (sometimes overnight) on my feet!

My cohort has an extra course to study this semester in addition to the usual three. Not only does this mean more contact hours in university; but more assignments! What makes the workload even more intense is that some of the courses will be assessed in multiple formats; so for example, our grade for the midwifery module this term is awarded based on our practical assessment on placement, a written exam, and an OSCE examination. That’s for only one out of the four courses we are undertaking!

However, the subject matter is becoming increasingly interesting as the course goes on. This term we are heavily focussing on complications- in childbearing and in the fetus and neonate. It helps having a year and a half of practical experience behind me as I have witnessed many of the conditions I’m now learning about in theory.

I’m nervously anticipating my results from my exam and essay to come through- I desperately hope that all the hard work paid off. My final placement for semester 3 on the community was hugely successful so my overall grade for practice was my highest ever! Also my placement planner for this semester finally came through today- I am beyond excited.

My first placement is three weeks on delivery suite. This will hopefully be an opportunity to get some births in as I’ve only delivered two babies so far this year! (We need 40 births by the end of the degree). Although I have delivered 21 babies I can only count 15 for my course- as four were in Africa and two deliveries were followed by complications with the delivery of the placenta- which unfortunately means we can’t count them!

I am also scheduled for a placement in triage which I’m excited about- this will help me gain confidence in determining the onset and progression of labour. The long-awaited sexual health placement is also just round the corner which I’m sure will be fascinating. My other practical experiences lined up include Fetal Assessment Unit, for which I’m not sure what to expect, Neonatal Unit, and Best Beginnings (a midwifery team who care for women in need of extra support).

I am now over half way through my degree and the pressure is really on. Sometimes I feel completely out of my depth and at other times I surprise myself with how much I have learnt. The reality is sinking in. It’s getting serious!