This week I finished my block weeks at university, meaning I now only have one more week in university for exams before year two finishes. After a little bit of a break over Easter and a trip home, some of the stress was alleviated as I handed in two pieces of work and sat an exam.
Over the past 6 weeks at university, we have learnt so much about high risk care and the amazing abilities of the human body in our Applied Pathology lectures. We’ve celebrated the birth of breech babies, faced our fears of shoulder dystocia and even had a go at suturing to gain familiarity of the instruments and techniques used. We’ve participated in debates, produced beautiful pieces of art in health promotion tasks and had a lot of fun in between the stress.
During our time at university, we have had numerous external speakers come in and talk to us, which has been fascinating. I have learnt so much about tricky topics such as substance misuse and feel armed with information and an open mind for when I head back out into practice.
We have also learnt a lot about promoting women’s choices and helping them explore their options to give them the birth that they want. Some of my favourite lessons included hypnobirthing and water birth.
Recently I attended a perinatal mental health talk which was very interesting. It highlighted that perinatal mental health is everyone’s business and that we as midwives can play a massive role in supporting and helping women.
I can certainly say that our cohort has hit the ‘year two blues’, but without the support of each other I’m sure we’d all be much worse off. Being a student midwife is extremely stressful; not only is there the 12 and a half hour shifts every week, but there’s numerous deadlines to work towards in between that, meaning precious time with family and friends gets sacrificed.
Following our contact time in university, I’m feeling a lot more confident about heading back out into placement and also a little relieved that it’s not just me that’s finding it hard. The support of our cohort and tutors is so incredibly important.
Now that my block weeks are complete I am preparing to head back out onto placement. My first week back is on a neonatal unit, caring for those little fighters. I’m a little scared to be heading into the neonatal environment and for what things I might experience, but also looking forward to understanding the complex care that goes on there. After that I’m heading back onto labour ward, which I cannot wait for. I’ve really missed caring for women at such a precious time of their lives! As I head back onto the labour ward I have new challenges to face as I take the leading role in providing care. No matter how hard this degree is, I wouldn’t change it for the world!