The End of my Midwifery Preceptorship

I can't believe it's officially been 18 months since I first became a qualified midwife. It's hard to believe that time has flown so fast, but it also feels like I've been doing the job for years and years. The scary part now, is that I can no longer say that I'm a "newly qualified midwife" and I'm crying a little on the inside, because it always felt a little like a safety blanket. The phrase almost gave me the security of other's being more senior, and whilst I know that is still true, there are also so many band 5s and newer midwives that are now looking up to me, and I am mentoring. 

Realistically, nothing will actually change. I've been on my final rotation on Labour Suite since February and I selected to be a core Labour Suite midwife. Having said that, I have been regularly doing shifts in other areas the entire time, and they are planning on implementing rotations to all staff again before the end of the year, so who knows what the future holds. 

Overall, I have really enjoyed being a midwife. The first few months were truly torture. I would come home and sob myself to sleep, overthink everything and talk about quitting regularly. I still have tough shifts, but I think I had some really difficult first few weeks and a lot happened during that time. I now feel confident in my practice and understanding. I am much more comfortable in managing caseloads and most importantly escalating and asking for help, without feeling like an idiot. 

I feel like I've done so much more than I anticipated when I first started as well. My only real goal was to get my band 6 in around a year and it took 13 months, so it was pretty close. I've also become and Nursing and Midwifery Board Representative, started a RCN Nightingale Leadership Fellowship, been selected to be a Shared Governance member (I'll share more soon!) and even been successful in my Master's Application. I've been really enjoying it and I am so lucky to be apart of an amazing team, who really does support me. 

The one thing I do think is that since Covid-19 especially, I've become so anti-social unless I'm really comfortable around people. I've been invited to a number of parties and events and I just don't say yes. I'm not sure why, whether it's because I feel like they're just "work" friends and not friends, but afterwards it looks like so much fun, and I feel left out! Hello introvert...

I've also heard from a number of student midwives and newly qualified midwives that they've found these posts really helpful, which is so nice to hear. I am always so pleased when I hear a post reaches even one person who finds it helpful. I'm going to link the entire series below, so that they are all in one place for easy access: 

If you're a newly qualified midwife or have recently finished your preceptorship, which part was the hardest and what is your biggest piece of advice? My biggest regret is being so hard on myself. I think it's important to be honest and speak up when you feel confused or worried or even unsure. There are always people around to whom you can go to and ask for help.