Community Midwife Must Have Items

As promised following on from my recent community midwife job update post, I feel like I now have the knowledge to share with other newly qualified midwives, or just new community midwives, what items I've found have really helped me in the job, and some must have items that make my life a whole lot easier. 

First and most important are some pencil cases or wash bags to organise items. This was one of the items that everyone told me that I needed, but most people just have 2 or 3. I ended up getting 6 in 3 different colours and I have somewhat colour coded my items. I have two yellow for urine bottles and swabs, two blue for plasters/cotton wool and CO monitor filter mouthpieces, then two pink for blood bottles and blood taking equipment (needles, vacutainers, tourniquets etc). When I'm in my main clinic room, I have a couple of cupboards with items in them, but for the majority of the time, I'm either doing visits or covering clinics elsewhere.

Somewhat on the same wavelength, an expandable folder is vital to store all the important leaflets, blood forms and stickers that we give to women on a daily basis. It only fits a handful of each in, so I have to remind myself to fill it up, but it's good to have on hand. Sometimes things crop up where you need to give someone something last minute. At the moment, the new one is Group B Strep leaflets. 

Another important one is a notebook or address book of contact numbers and a little book of key figures and guidelines aspects. I have found this very frustrating personally because the numbers are constantly changing and there are so many extension numbers for each area, some of which are never answered! But it is useful to have a rough book that you can quickly cross out and scribble new numbers on. 

Whether it's because of the Covid-19 baby boom, or the staff shortage across the country at the moment, I often find myself skipping a proper lunch break or having to have one on the go, in between visits. It's been hot hot weather this year at times, so I would make sure to invest in an insulated lunchbag with an ice pack so that your food stays cool. Also, I love the Sistema lunchboxes, which fits perfectly inside. I like all the compartments to keep everything separate. Finally, make sure you get a cool waterbottle. The larger the better to stop you from running out, with no time to refill. I know everyone loves the Chilli waterbottles, but I personally just have a simple bottle from a couple of garden centres; stainless steel are the best! I tend to keep one in the car and one on my desk. 

Finally, onto the car. With so much equipment and items that are essential, plus regularly needing to transport extra items, and the on call bag with the entonox bag, a car with a decent boot is a must. Now, obviously don't go out and buy a new car if you're just on rotation like me, but if you're planning on being a community midwife full time and looking for a new car anyway, I would say it should be on the list of priorities. I am lucky that my boot is pretty damn big for a little car! You also need either a sat nav, or at least a car phone holder to use as a sat nav, especially if new to the area like me. Bare in mind, even when you know the area, over the weekends you do cover the whole of the city, so there may still be some areas of unknown locations. 

They're the things I have purchased and found incredibly useful so far into my community rotation. I'm over half way through and I feel like this covers the majority of items, but if you have any suggestions, please do leave them in the comments below!