Preceptorship Rotation Thoughts: Labour Suite

I can't quite believe it's been 5 months since I finished university and qualified as a midwife. I was reading through my post when I finished my last shift as a student midwife and I realised I never shared the promised student midwife journey but maybe one day I will finally get around to writing that story. Right now, I'm concentrating on life as a newly qualified midwife.

Going into the role, starting my first ever job and beginning life working as a midwife was daunting to say the least. I wrote my thoughts before starting and shared my excitement but also my worries. I also shared how I felt it was going 1 month into my first rotation on labour suite. I love looking back on these because I can truly see how far I have come, but also it showcases the reality of being a midwife. Next time I'll be back in the hospital, I'll be in the new uniform of scrubs! 

I can honestly say the first month was the hardest and it's slowly got so much better. I finally started to feel more comfortable about two months in. Learning to multitask, time manage and be able to stay on top of care, whilst chasing results and filling in paperwork is hard! As a student, you always have somebody else to share the workload with and you don't have logins for the computer systems, so it's just a big step up when moving onto working entirely independently. 

I've been made to feel so welcome my all but one team member and it's been really lovely. Everyone has been so supportive and truly on hand for questions I have, whether big or small. There's some people who have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome. I felt welcome as a student at the trust, but not I feel part of the team, part of the family. There's also been some lovely events we've been able to celebrate, such as leaving parties, birthdays and International Day of the Midwife. 

Looking back, I think I got really unlucky with my first month of experiences. I had some awful instrumentals and obstetric emergencies. Since then, I have only had a handful and they've not been very severe. However, I've also been more confident in my abilities, more competent with my skills and better able to handle the clinical situations. For example, I relatively recently had post partum haemorrhage (large bleed after delivery) and I think if it had happened in those first few weeks, I would have been heartbroken, totally blamed myself and gone home and cried for hours...yes that happened multiple times at the start of the year! This time, I felt on top of it. 

I've accomplished so much. I feel familiar and comfortable with the paperwork and computer systems (albeit the paperwork is shortly changing of course!). I wish I had my own device to be able to do handovers properly but recently, I have been able to use the shared ones on most shifts. I have also completed a lot of my preceptorship package requirements, such as epidurals, instrumentals etc, plus I am on well on my way to finishing all of the others. 

I still need a few little bits to finish completely, but I've done a number of suturing which has felt really great. Completing my first two felt amazing and I was genuinely impressed with how well they came together. I still struggle when the tear isn't quite as neat, but hopefully that will click soon. I can't wait to be able to provide 100% of a families care when I can fully independently suture. I can't wait for the day I have a lovely family come in spontaneously labouring, with a neat second degree tear, wanting an early discharge, and then completing the NIPE as well. Update: it happened in my last week and felt surreal  the true dream job! 

I also need to apply three fetal scalp electrodes (FSE). I've had the opportunity to do three in total but they've all been in somewhat emergency situations when I haven't done an examination prior, so I didn't feel confident being successfully able to quickly apply them in the given time frame. Hopefully I get the opportunity to do them again soon! I'm wanting to do a few extra labour suite shifts, with ideally one a month to be able to stay on top of the work. Fingers crossed my future shifts allow. 

Of course, overtime pay has been an added bonus. I've done a few extra shifts, but mainly it's been through training. It's a little frustrating that there isn't allocated time to do this, but at least it means I earn a little more each month. Some of this was for my practice supervisor and assessor training. I actually did my supervisor training at university, but apparently it doesn't quite correlate, so I ended up doing the whole thing again for 7 and a half hours overtime. 

It's been so much fun to be able to get to work with students because they can be such big help, especially the third years. Unfortunately, I did have one first year which actually sadly, drained me because she was just so lacklustre and refused to do a lot of things. I've also been a mentor for newer staff, who are supernumerary, which has been even nicer. I think it can actually be quite helpful to do a few shifts with someone closer to that level of experience, to share some of my own little tips and I've had some great feedback, saying they didn't realise I was so new, which of course is lovely! 

I can't quite believe I've finished my first rotation. I'm leaving labour suite a little earlier than I originally anticipated and I wish I had a little longer because I'm just now starting to feel on top of everything, but I'm excited for the next chapter of my qualified journey. Next up is my 6 month community rotation, which I'll share my thoughts on next week.