My Thoughts on Starting my Community Rotation!

My first labour suite rotation is over, and I am officially a community midwife for 6 months. Another placement starting and a whole other set of emotions. Before starting work and finding out my rotation, I was somewhat expecting to be in the community first and I thought it would be a great starting point, because there's less pressure and more time to become familiar with guidelines. Having now been at work for 5 months, I feel more nervous then ever and I think I was completely wrong! 

In the hospital, you have ample teammates on hand to help if you're struggling and in the community, you're completely alone. Sure, you can try to message other midwives, or call the hospital, but no one is physically there the majority of the time. Also, having heard some of the technical difficulties from others, I am not looking forward to connectivity or internet issues. 

Similarly, the shifts. I personally really enjoy having days off, especially during the week. I think it will be nice to have a more 9 - 5 job, but at the same time, I'm going to miss that time to myself and be a lady of leisure, especially now that restaurants are opening up again. Also, the unsocial hour pay is defintely going to be missed. The lack of night shifts, weekends and overtime are going to make my accounts a little sadder. Of course, there still will be a few on call shifts for nights and weekends, but usually a maximum of one a month. I would absolutely love to be called to a home birth for one of these though. I think it would be lovely to finally be able to tick that off my wish list. This year, there have actually been quite a few successful home births and I've heard there are many more booked in, so fingers crossed I get called to one. 

Likewise, I am excited to get back to home visits. I feel very comfortable with postnatal care, but it's very different to do postnatal care and there is something special about being with people at home, in their own space. I always loved doing these as a student, especially in second year, but of course having not done a community placement in third year, I haven't done any for a while. I'm still yet to do a newborn blood spot test, but I do think I'll quickly learn the tricks for these, and as one of the few NIPE trained midwives, I'm hoping to be able to quite a few at home too. 

One of the things I'm most worried about is staying on top of everything with my caseload. As a student I saw all my community midwife mentors have to do overtime, without getting paid for it, to stay on top of chasing results, appointment making and everything else. I'm so used to chasing results on the day or simply handing it over, that I'm really going to have to work hard to stay on top of it all. 

Overall, I'm excited to go and get to learn some new skills, further grow in confidence in working more independently and getting to know the guidelines better, but once again, I'm nervous to begin! Somewhat luckily, the supernumerary period in community is a clear cut 4 week period, so I should have ample time to prepare and feel comfortable before being left alone completely.