Third year, here we are. I never thought you’d come.
Actually, I was about 89% sure I would make it here, but certainly I’ve had moments when my confidence was rocked and I wondered what the hell I’ve done to myself.
Anyway, third year. Here’s how it breaks down:
Step 1: split our class into two. Fifteen of us will do what I’m about to outline below. The other half does what I will be doing in the winter, in the fall; and then what I’m doing in the now they will do in the winter.
I’ll stick to my half of the class.
Preparation for Advanced Placement (PAP)
We begin with 6 weeks of online course work. This includes:
- Tutorials: Twice weekly, two-hour tutorials online.
- Seventeen of us log in and share the content we found on the given topic, PBL styles. These tutorials are essentially classes, and take place on Tuesdays and Fridays.
- Activities: Activities are due twice per week.
- These are due the night before tutorial (Mondays and Thursdays) at midnight.
- Content is usually preparatory and in line with the upcoming tutorial (ie – if the tutorial is about GBS management, the activity will likely explore that topic more deeply). Sometimes the activities cover other topics.
- These are not graded. They contribute to your “participation” grade. That seemed to be frustrating for some, as they are a lot of work, but I found them helpful in guiding my studying. In a problem-based learning world where everything is self-directed, I kind of appreciated these.
- Assignments: due Tuesdays at 6pm.
- These are graded.
- Usually more involved, but similar to the activities. They build off of the topics for the week. Typically involve creating some sort of a massive decision tree that makes you want to pull your eyelashes out one at a time (but in the end is actually a very helpful study tool). Here’s hoping my decision trees are right.
- Exam: at the end of the 6 weeks we have a 2 hour exam.
- Content includes all PBL topics + NC content + the content from the ASCI in September. Egad.
Enhanced Practice Placements (EPP)
- Now that my back hurts from all the sitting in front of a computer, we move into placements.
- These are 3x 2 week placements
- One, 2 week placement in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), shadowing a nurse
- One, 2 week placement in the Post Partum ward (after delivery), shadowing a nurse
- One 2 week “community” placement; this is variable. You submit some choices, but ultimately they send you wherever there is space.
- Some of my classmates have placements at:
- Women’s shelters
- Breastfeeding clinics
- Pelvic floor physios
- Sexual health clinics
- Homeless shelters
- Exception: if you are planning to go out of province in the winter, you must do a breastfeeding placement during your 2 week EPP “community” placement. So, because I am planning to go to BC for my 1 month elective in January, I’ll be at the breastfeeding clinic here in Hamilton for my 2 week EPP elective.
- Some of my classmates have placements at:
- The location of these placements is variable, and depends on where they can find space.
- Most of my classmates are placed in Hamilton (McMaster or St.Joes) but some are placed in Cambridge, Guelph, Toronto. You get what you get and you don’t get upset (I guess).
- Exams/course work during EPP
- THERE IS NONE. IS THIS A MIRACLE? There are only scheduled shifts, 1 week off (“reading break” and then you’re done! What the heck am I going to do with myself??
HOLIDAY BREAK: December 5 – Jan 1
Interprofessional Practice Placements (IPP)
This term splits into 3x 1 month placements, the order of which varies depending on where you want to go for your 1 month elective. I’ll share what my plan is:
January: hoping to find a midwifery clinic that will let me shadow them in Vancouver. This is quite the involved process; we have to wait until we are told the clinics we cannot contact, and then we have to cold call the rest and convince a midwife to take you.
February: Labour and delivery (L&D) ward. I would shadow a nurse. This can be anywhere in southern Ontario.
March: Shadowing an obstetrician (OB) somewhere in southern Ontario. Some of the gals are commuting to Barrie for this, others are in Hamilton, others are in Niagara. I will find out sometime in December where I have to go.
April: during the last week we do the ASC II — another intensive. Then on May 1 we begin our fourth year and will remain in that placement until graduation the following May.
So from here on in there are no summers off, only a few one month or three week periods. I don’t mind, because that means I’m that much closer to graduation! We make our selections for our final, fourth year placements in January and find out in March where we will round-off our midwifery educations. It’s all coming together!