I’ve finally found a spare minute between the chaos that is third year. In September I finished my second year, a year that was pretty tough but also very rewarding. During my birth placements I was able to aid 34 women in delivering their babies, all of which were incredible experiences. Since then, third year has hit with full force. Currently, I feel as though my life is a never ending ‘to do’ list.
Before Christmas I finished my second placement of third year. My first placement was five weeks back in community providing antenatal and postnatal care to lots of women. I had the most amazing time and really enjoyed the new level of independence returning there after almost a year away. For this placement I was lucky enough to join a team trialling enhanced care with continuity at its heart. My time there was fantastic and I really felt at home in the community setting.
As the team is working to improve the care women receive, I got to provide lots of information for the women in my care, giving them advice and answering any questions they had. I provide lots of breastfeeding support, supporting new families in the rocky road to parenthood, all with a couple of baby cuddles along the way. My mentor was wonderful and awarded me a fantastic mark at the end to top off the amazing experience I had.
My second placement was five weeks on the postnatal ward. Again, I had not been on the ward since first year, meaning returning was a little daunting! During my time on the ward I met lots of wonderful families. Despite the busyness of the ward I was able to spend time with the new mums, assessing their needs, providing them with information and providing breastfeeding support. As a third-year I was also able to lead the care of these women, making referrals and discharging them home to community care.
Throughout these two placements I had my skills signed off for entry to the register meaning I am ready to begin my caseloading placement in February. With this, I get to recruit ten women and provide community-based care for them throughout their pregnancy and into parenthood. I am really excited to be heading back into the community and to provide women with this continuity of care. I’m hopeful that I will be able to attend the births of some of these women and provide them with a really positive experience.
In between all this loveliness, university has unleashed the full force of all things final year. We’ve had dissertation preparation, although I’m not sure this is something you can be prepared for. I’m hoping to focus on homebirth throughout this, something I’ve fallen in love with over the past two years. We’ve also received our modules and tasks to be completed throughout this year, some of which is going to be challenging, others of which I cannot wait to begin. One of our modules includes an arty expressive task, something I am really excited to sink my teeth into.
Before my caseloading placement begins, I am heading into university for a couple of weeks which I really feel is needed at the moment to touch base with everything. The support of the girls in my cohort is a massive strength as I feel we’re all experiencing frustration and feeling a little deflated. I feel frustrated as we are so close, just nine more months before we qualify, yet there’s still so much to be completed before then. I know we’ll get there, and I’m sure as each deadline gets ticked off it will all start to feel much more exciting!
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