The first days of placement have come and gone, and I am feeling a mixture of emotions. Exhaustion. Joy. Confusion. Fear. Happiness. Anticipation.
On Day 1 we did several home visits, a neonatal intensive care unit follow-up, a hospital tour, and a clinic tour. By the end of the day, I was wiped.
Tuesdays are my clinic days, so from 9am – 5pm we saw about 10 clients at different stages in their pregnancies. My preceptor only does clinic on one day per week, which leaves the rest of the week for home visits, births, and other things. It’s nice. Other students in my cohort have 2-3 preceptors they are following and have multiple days of clinic. Student schedules simply vary depending on the structure of care their preceptor midwife follows – my preceptor follows the primary care model, so she sees all her clients and takes time off as needed (weekends here and there) whereas others share care, for example, in a model where they do 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off (meaning, you share clients with another one or two midwives). There are many different working models midwives follow, some of which I still haven’t learned about. This is generally all in an effort to prevent midwife burnout, which is common in a job where we are accessible 24-7 to our clients. More on that another time.
After those two days I felt like I had a good foundation in the subject matter, but definitely have an overwhelming number of things I need to follow-up on and read. In clinic, I was able to do all the blood pressures, belly palpations/measurements, and Doppler heart beats in all the appointments. The heart beats are the coolest. Basic skills, but still important to get a handle on and do correctly. Despite putting the blood pressure cuff on backward once, my preceptor told me I did well, double-checking all my figures for certainty.
On Thursday we are expecting a twin induction, which will be interesting. Twins only recently entered midwifery scope here, with several parameters. In this case, the client is also being followed by an obstetrician and we will be delivering (naturally or otherwise) in the operating room; just in case. If something goes wrong, it can happen quickly, and we want to ensure everyone’s safety.
My preceptor and I get along well, and I’m keen to absorb all she knows about all the things midwifery related (and otherwise). Stay tuned for more, time to go do some prep work for tomorrow’s twin induction!