Student Midwife Life: week 1.2

Time management has really gotten away from me these last few weeks. It feels a lot like there’s so much more to do than I can fit in. Sleeping and eating aren’t things I could put a hold on, so the weekly reflections were temporarily sacrificed. But I’m back! I’ll be posting the catchup pieces over the next week so keep those eyes peeled.

 

This week was even more intense than the last. We started off with our first midwifery skill session, baby bathing, which was a nice relaxing one to start with. We talked about why we would bathe babies on units, and why we might leave it until they go home. Vernix sounds slightly magical, I’ll definitely be doing a bit of research on it in the next few weeks.

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We also started on our midwifery theory with one of the most important parts: the pelvis. The first time round, sitting in the classroom, I have to admit that it was fairly mind melting. The language of anatomy is very technical and I’ve always struggled with memorising it, but there’s always a way through! After reviewing the notes when I went home (and ordering a pelvis to study with) I felt a lot more confident.

 

Our clinical skills this week were First Aid, and an introduction to Medication Management. Having been in the college before and completed various levels of First Aid training, a lot of it was familiar to me, but it always help to go over these things.

 

22104711_1996386737315553_8944569346518145973_oI had my first real class rep duty this week as well. I attended the programme board with reps from the other years of midwifery, our lecturers, and our heads of section. It was only slightly intimidating, but everyone is so friendly that it was easy to get comfortable in the short meeting time. We discussed the assessment schedule for the first semester and clarified what components can be repeated or not. It was a brief fifteen minute chat but I found it really nice to be able to put faces to names at last.

 

I finished the week with a teeny tiny bit of protesting: it was the annual March for Choice in Dublin (with solidarity marches around the world). You can read about why I marched here.

 

So that’s it! Another week over and done with, another set of skills studied. Time really is flying away from me. Six weeks from the end of this week, I’ll be finishing up the theory of semester one and getting ready to head out on placement, wherever that may be! Don’t forget to let me know how you’re getting on, wherever you are on your midwifery journey.

 

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Student Midwife Life: week 1.1

I know, it’s a Saturday evening and I planned posts for Friday lunchtimes. But the wordpress post schedule button isn’t working right for me and neither has my planning! This week has just been so busy. I don’t know whether it’s because I haven’t settled into a plan yet or because I was just really unorganised, but here I am on Saturday with so much left to do!

 

This week we mainly had introductions to the modules that we have to complete in the first semester, which thankfully included the provisional assessment dates. My inner planner is delighted that we can make a plan now for the coming semester, right up to winter break. I had a bit of excitement as well: our class group had to choose reps to the student union and to the programme board, and my class have trusted me with half of the job (there are two reps in our class). I’m delighted to be trusted and I’m brimming with ideas to help the class.

 

21768311_1992097634411130_7205036964345981067_nWe had our first clinical skills labs during the week. We covered vital signs: temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure, as well as nutrition support (helping people to eat and drink). For me it was a bit of a refresher, as I’ve done vital obs before. But I recognised that some of my classmates had never held a sphyg or a stethoscope before, and because of our timetable we hadn’t yet covered the theory so there was a bit of confusion. But the tutors were great, so patient, helpful and concise, and everyone seems to have left quite happy.

 

We also had a class on digital citizenship and how we as student midwives, professionals within the HSE, should conduct ourselves. I’ve read the NMBI Social Media Guidelines at least ten times but it’s always helpful to have things explained differently, and discussed in a specific context. You might see a few changes on the blog, on my facebook page, and on my instagram as I talk to some of the midwifery department staff and redefine the lines of what I’m willing to share.

 

28-praying_skeletonWe had our first classes in the Natural Sciences module this week: Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Anatomy and Physiology. Because I did a year of nursing in the college before, I was expecting it. But that didn’t make it much easier. If you’re like me and you haven’t really got a head for hard sciences, it can feel impossible. Just remember, you will get through it. Picture on the left is a very realistic depiction of me, first time round, hoping I wouldn’t fail. And I didn’t! I didn’t hear of anyone failing. It’s all doable one way or another. As midwives we’ll be taught to adapt to any situation, react quickly to whatever we find. No better time to start practising that than in first year sciences!

 

So, how is your course going? What are you enjoying? What subjects are going a bit over your head? Let me know in the comments!

Day of the Midwife 2017

Screenshot 2017-05-05 at 07.11.10Happy International Day of the Midwife to all of you! Whether you’ve just discovered your passion, you’re applying for a place, you’re a current student, a qualified midwife or a retired one. Today is a day to celebrate the magic we are a part of.

I’ve been thinking about what midwifery means to me. Firstly, it means hard work. Three years of applying, and four years of working my butt off to get the grades, and now to get the money together. It has been a long journey just to get to the starting line, but I am just four months away from my first day as a student midwife!

4415-8_midwifery_serviceMidwifery is a science, requiring a lot of academic commitment and hours spent with your head in a book or a journal. Midwifery is an art, a beautiful privilege for those who practice it. Each family needs to be looked like a separate but equally important piece of art. They require detail, individual attention, and time.

 

Midwifery is a struggle. It is physically difficult, bent down to observe the person in whatever position contractions have put them in. It is emotionally draining, because everyone has problems and we are there to help.

But most of all, midwifery is a gift. We are a part of people’s proudest and most important moments. We are the person they call when baby does something to worry them. We are the trusted heart and hands.

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I can’t lie, I got very emotional watching Sheena Byrom’s video this morning, which includes messages from midwives all over the world. It really got me thinking: we’re one of the oldest professions in the world. We are a part of every culture across the globe, in one form or another. We’re a strong community of people that are there 24/7 every day of the year. We are so vital.

 

So here’s to us! The midwives of the world, with woman no matter the outcomes. How are you celebrating today? ❀