I am writing this blog post whilst I really should be writing my last EVER ACADEMIC ESSAY (WOOP WOOP) but instead I am procrastinating and hoping that those 3000 words of academia will flow out of my head and on to a word document another day (maybe tomorrow, maybe not). *Apologies for there being such a delay between my last blog post and this one, I am still writing said essay as well as juggling placement hours*
The second half of 1st year was made up mostly of clinical placements which I will delve into in another blog post. However, we still had 3 theory modules that we had to complete in the few shorts months before we were let loose out in practice.
Trimester 2 – The modules that made up Trimester 2 were as follows: Skills for midwifery practice, clinical practice preparation 1 and introduction to maternal wellbeing.
Skills for Midwifery Practice – Here is where the fun really begins. This was the module where we were introduced to clinical skills such as monitoring vital signs, venepuncture, abdominal palpation, history taking, urinalysis, medicine administration and first aid. Who knew anyone could get so excited over a plastic arm filled with fake blood? But we did. We poked and prodded said arm until the poor thing resembled a pin cushion! I also remember the first time taking a manual blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer (sphyg for short) and a stethoscope. I took so long to hear the Korotkoff sounds that my poor friend’s arm resembled a blueberry to which she reassured me ‘it’s fine, I can’t feel a thing’ – no wonder, I had literally abolished all blood circulation! I also remember the first time I learned how to palpate an abdomen using a plastic replica and being constantly confused as to whether it was a bum or a head that could be felt (we used to have a cheeky peek inside the plastic abdomen by simply lifting it up, to see if we were correct – imagine if it was that easy in real life!). All of these skills were challenging at first as they were things that most of us had never experienced EVER. But I promise you all, with hard work and a bit of practice – aka testing all your family members’ blood pressure at Sunday dinner – that these skills will become second nature to you in no time. Trust me you won’t ever be able to sit an exam again without checking your pulse and diagnosing yourself with a tachycardia that would probably be alerted to medical staff if you were in a hospital (is that enough of a reason to not sit an exam do you think?)
Clinical Practice Preparation 1 – So there isn’t much to say about this module as this is the module that incorporates everything that happens whilst on clinical placement which I will discuss in another blog post. The only real ‘theory’ we were given for this module was a discussion around policies and protocols which of course will vary depending on which trust you practice within.
Introduction to Maternal Wellbeing – This module was super interesting as it explored issues regarding maternal health, wellbeing and lifestyle choices from a sociological, physical, emotional and psychological perspective. We discussed general health, ill-health, sexual and reproductive health and parenthood education, all of which are incorporated into the public health role of the midwife. Some of the public health issues that are particularly pertinent (posh word) to midwives include breastfeeding, substance misuse, sexually transmitted infections, contraception, obesity, nutrition and smoking. The public health and health promotion role of the midwife is becoming increasingly important in midwifery today, so having a sound knowledge of this role is a big help when you venture out on placement.
So that was everything theory related that I learned during my 1st year of training. It is likely that what you learn will change slightly between universities but at the end of the day some things are the same no matter where you do your training. In my next blog post I will discuss the thing that everyone really wants to hear about – PLACEMENTS! So until then I hope you enjoy reading this post and if you have any questions or suggestions of topics to discuss, don’t hesitate to drop me an email!