I’m all grown up and starting 3rd year.
The structure of the MEP’s Level 3 is very different than both Level 1 and 2, and probably the most confusing schedule yet. Gone are the days of classroom-based work. Now, except for two, 1-week intensives in September and April, we work exclusively online in web-tutorials.
At the same time as the tutorials, we are in interprofessional placements of different lengths, the schedule of which I’ll get into in an upcoming post.
For now, let me tell you about the September Advanced Clinical Skills I intensive. Five exhausting days of knowledge that teach you everything from emergency skills for shoulder dystocia to how to identify tongue ties and troubleshoot breastfeeding.
My favourite ACSI Sessions
Some of the highlights for me were lectures and interactive workshops by medical experts on:
- Ethics in health care (shocking, I know)
- Fetal heart rate surveillance and interpretation of fetal heart monitors.
- Emergency skills drills and workshops.
We practised the suturing on pork loin under the supervision of faculty and senior students (and at each other’s homes, in preparation for the intensive).
We learned about how midwifery is the only profession in the world that caters to both mothers and babies. We attended sessions with OB residents and discussed how to best work together. And, we even put weird hoods on our faces and were fitted for masks that will keep us protected from the eventual zombie virus outbreak.
Usually our sessions ended around 5pm, but I cannot say the learning ended there. Every night of that week, my study pals and I came back to my house. There, we alternated making dinner for each other, and after some delicious grubs and laughs we quizzed each other and practiced doing emergency skills on my patio until the skies turned dark.
Then we’d go back the next morning and start again. Even though we were exhausted by Friday, I think we were all still happy to be around each other. During our long and lonely winters away in Normal Childbearing we only heard each other’s voices through a computer. Having lunch together in a sunny window was really a nice change.
These skills are important.
While we were learning a lot of great information, the only content we were tested on was the Emergency Skills, including:
- Management of antenatal and post partum hemorrhage
- Unplanned breech delivery
- Unplanned twin delivery (omg imagine?)
- Fetal heart emergencies
- Cord prolapse
- Managing allergic reactions
- Managing a shoulder dystocia (when the baby’s shoulders get stuck. once the head delivers you have 6-8 minutes to deliver the rest of the infant and if the shoulders are stuck this is an emergency)
These are big deals – so you can understand why we were practicing at night. Never mind the fact that we had practical and written exams on the Saturday, these are real emergencies, some of which happen with minor frequency.
The practical exam left me with unbelievable test anxiety, but I was reassured by the faculty that if we didn’t pass we would only be asked to take on some extra training. Knowing that, now, I wish I had spent more time studying the theory for the exam! As always in this program, in retrospect I also wish I had worried less.
Oh well, I passed both and slept in on the Sunday.
… sleeping is for the dead, though, because my online course (Preparation for Advanced Placement) began that Tuesday and there were 3 assignments due before then (two on the Monday).
Third year is off to a raging start!