Midwifery Changes from the Coronavirus Pandemic

I recently shared a Day in the Life of a Student Midwife post, which was realistically more of a mini summary of the University of Nottingham course and may experience. I thought given that it had been a few weeks since that post went live, and even longer since I first wrote it, there has been quite a lot of changes. With the coronavirus pandemic, everything kind of got thrown up in the air and even though I am still working full-time as as student, here's what's happening at the moment.
My cohort had just begun their first year three placement - I was just 5 shifts in! - when the entire Faculty of Health Sciences pulled all students from placement with immediate effect. The first few weeks were a little strange, with no one really knowing what was happening but it has all settled down a little more now.

We ended up having our Easter annual leave week brought forward with immediate effect and then the week after was for catching up on practical theory elements. I ended up making the most of the time by writing 3 of the 4 reflections for our PebblePad portfolio, a breastfeeding observation form, a women's feedback form and my three Newborn Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) written pieces too. I also got to work on my Fetal Monitoring and NIPE e-learning packages, which are all now finished after a heck of a lot of work.

We are now three weeks into a theory module for our research proposal. It is probably the hardest module of the course, so it was always going to be a struggle, but ultimately it is mostly independent so it would have been difficult regardless of the situation. I think the biggest issue for me personally, is not being able to look at examples so I don’t really know what I am working towards or the standard of work.

The staff have been incredible and constantly giving updates and meetings. Despite lots of complaints, they have been very supportive. I think the MS TEAMS software has worked really well and it is great that we can see people, to feel a little more connected. I know a lot of people (especially with kids) are struggling to home school and look after them whilst studying, so it’s helpful to have access to lectures and meetings recorded for if we can’t make it. I think staff have been very accommodating and handled situations very sensitively.

I've been mainly working in my bedroom because it's quiet and I don't get in the way of the others, but also at the dining room table for more focused work and sometimes in the formal lounge for tutorials. So far it has been working well and I am actually really enjoying being able to vary my working space and also to fit it around other commitments as well. It has made the module feel very independent and I am finding it very rewarding to be able to fit it in around the nice weather, snack breaks and exercise.

How has the coronavirus affected your working life? Have you been furloughed? Are you still working as a key working? I'd love to hear all about your experiences!

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