Final year as a student midwife!

Laura Green

Faculty: Health, Social Care & Education
Department: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Midwifery
Category: Nursing and midwifery

9 November 2016

As the apprehension mounts about what lies ahead of me, I am both worried and excited. Throughout my first two years of training I have experienced many joyful moments, moments of personal triumph and some times when I felt I was not good enough.

This degree is a total roller-coaster but as I near the end of the ride, my overall feeling is pride. I feel proud of how far I have come already. From completing the application to this degree programme to just beginning my final year of training I have had to work very hard and have struggled along the way; but with perseverance and dedication I have got to a point to where I feel proud of myself.

Confidence or lack of it has played a big part throughout my midwifery journey. I believe mentors play a big role in confidence levels among student midwives. An encouraging mentor means the world to a student. Rather than going home doubting yourself, with a good mentor you can arrive and leave a shift feeling empowered and confident. Over the duration of my training so far I have built my confidence slowly along with skill ability. There have been times over the past two years when I have questioned my own ability and wondered when I will have that moment that it all clicks into place. Previous students had reassured me along the way that it all starts to make sense in the third year. I am starting to realise that what they have been telling me is true. As I near the end of my student midwife years my knowledge and skill base is more advanced than I thought.

Expectations increase both within the hospital setting and within university classes. But along with the increased expectations is your built-up level of knowledge. I have learnt that as long as you are always eager to learn new skills and observe everything around you whilst on a shift on placement, it will all be okay. Whilst amongst all the action of a very chaotic shift on labour ward, subconsciously you begin to absorb learning the management for that particular situation; perhaps an obstetric emergency. Asking questions of your mentor and becoming intrigued as to why certain plans are put in place, all show the development of becoming a midwife.

As I write this blog I am just about to start my dissertation and am also revising for my NIPE (Newborn Infant Physical Examination) exam in a few months. At times like this my workload can feel overwhelming. It is crucial that communication is my priority; both with my family and lecturers. Both of these will provide some support that I hope will get me through the next few months with minimal stress. I am also maintaining all my skills within my clinical area and continuing to expand my knowledge as the months go by. Reflecting back on all my placements that have passed, I really feel that every one of them has enabled me to learn something; although I might not have realised at the time! When I revisit a placement area that I haven’t been back to since my first year of training, it really hits home how far I have come.

The main thing to keep in mind is to keep focused on the ultimate goal of becoming an excellent midwife until the very end. When I started this journey I had faith I could achieve my goal and as it is becoming ever more reachable, I continue to maintain high standards; as that dream is soon to be my reality.
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