Back into placement…

Sophie Spittle

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

3 December 2013

So I have just finished my first 4 week placement of year 2! Scary scary! People ask you what year you are in, and I have to say year 2 because it’s true, but it feels so weird! I was on the antenatal inpatients ward for the first time and it was great!

I got to look after some really special ladies who all had high risk problems. It was scary at times, but I followed my mentor’s instructions and found that after the 4 weeks I was much more confident! I learnt how to carry out an induction of labour from the very start to the very finish. I found that all different types of ladies have inductions for many different reasons. The two most common reasons I saw for an induction was for gestational diabetes and for women past their due date. I got to learn why it was necessary for labour to be induced and that it ensures the well-being of mum and baby.

I saw some really interesting conditions, of which I had never came across before and that require a hospital stay. These included hyperemesis gravidarum, which is severe nausea and vomiting, which can result in dehydration, malnutrition and fluid and electrolyte imbalance, which is very serious in pregnant women. These ladies often feel very poorly so need lots of help and TLC throughout their stay in hospital. I also saw another condition called obstetric cholestasis, which is severe itching, especially of the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. Obstetric cholestasis is caused by the build-up of bile acids in the liver, resulting in the woman experiencing persistent itching. This condition can be very uncomfortable so these ladies also need to be monitored extra carefully, and need to be well looked after (like all of our ladies!).

Many women do not expect to develop a pregnancy-related condition and it comes as a big shock. It can be a time of worry and stress for the woman, her partner and families, so they need to be given all the information in a way they understand, so they can make informed choices. Advocacy is a major part of our role as midwives. We provide the choices and the information so they can make the choice themselves.

I really loved this placement as it was very interesting and I learnt so much. I really loved looking after high-risk women, you really feel like everything you do makes a difference, even offering a cup of tea. It was hard at first, getting back into shift work, but you soon adapt and learn to sleep on demand! It is hard being a second year because you are at that awkward middle stage where you’re nearly half way through but still really new to midwifery.
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