‘Becoming a Student Midwife’ book – Paper Copy Is Here!

It has arrived! After so much time planning, researching, writing, reviewing and applying critique, my book is here in the flesh paper! It’s a really weird and brilliant feeling. I really hope you find it useful. And if you’d like to leave a review on amazon, I’ll love you forever.

This is the version that will be for sale on amazon.co.uk next week.

If you just can’t wait you can buy a copy direct from America straight away from CreateSpace.

Heartfelt thanks go to you all for your encouragement and support! I’m off for a cup of tea and some apple and blueberry cake. Huzzah!

Coping With Your First Midwifery Emergency [VIDEO]

I was first asked to do this video a long time ago by a midwifery student about to start their training, but I’ve put it off for a long time, considering what to say…coping with your first midwifery emergency can be a preoccupying thought!

The truth is, you’re not really expected to know anything when coping with your first midwifery emergency! There is just one exception to this:

Find the emergency buzzer, or later you’ll be saying bugger!

Every time you go into a birth centre, hospital, or other clinical setting…take the time to work out where the emergency buzzer is, so you know what to pull if you’re asked to get help! Ideally you should know where the normal buzzer is too (and try not to get them mixed up…this is a common, but sometimes embarrassing error ;) )

But otherwise, your first emergency is all about observing. Write a reflection on the events, and talk about it with your student and qualified colleagues. This is both to help your learning, and because it can be emotionally draining.

As you progress through your first year you will be able to:

  • Reassure the woman and her family, offering the human side of care
  • Get the right emergency trolleys
  • Do blood pressure, pulse and other observations
  • Label blood bottles and get them processed urgently
  • Looking after the baby (if Mum is the one who is in need of emergency care)

Things to avoid:

  • Getting in the way
  • I wouldn’t suggest scribing during an emergency unless there is no-one else to do this. It’s very difficult to scribe well during a fast paced event with lots of drugs, people, observations and so on! You’ll develop this skill as you progress through your training

Coping with your first midwifery emergency is a bit of a rite of passage.

I hope you learn lots, and everyone comes out of it happy and healthy.

Now I want to hear from you!

Do you have any worries about coping with your first emergency? Are you a senior student, or qualified midwife who remembers your first emergency and would like to give some tips? I’d love it if you left a comment to let us know :)

Oh, and please share this video post if you found it useful!

Midwifery Interview

Midwifery Interview Specification

 Cumbira University has this brilliant midwifery interview specification that I’ve reproduced from their website. I approve of this so much because it’s a clear outline of what admissions tutors looks for.

Sometimes I feel like working out what makes a good midwifery applicant is a lot tougher than it should be. It’s really hard to know what universities value in their applicants, and the competition is fierce.

You might say midwifery applicants should be able to work it out for themselves. But I think this is misguided. You need to see to learn.  We all stand on the shoulders of giants.

This isn’t about copying, it’s about learning through example. 

I really wanted to post this guide today, I was reminded about it, as I mention it in my inspirational application guide ‘Becoming a Student Midwife‘ (I’m just putting the finishing touches on the second edit….it’s nearly ready to send off to be printed…that’s right, it’s turning into a PAPER COPY! *Excited!*)

This grid doesn’t make it easy to get a place on a course – it just means applicants can target revision and get their skills together.

If you follow this kind of guide for your interview, you can be sure you’re working on the right stuff.

It’ll also make for better student midwives once their feet hit the deck.

Continue reading

Coping with Nervousness in Midwifery: [VIDEO] Part 2

Last time we covered the ‘D’ of the acronym for coping with midwifery nervousness: ‘DOPE’. (You can find the first video here)

Today we’re covering ‘O’, which stands for neur-O-linguistic programming.

Neuro-linguistic programming is a method for changing behaviours to help with goals. There are some techniques within this style of psychotherapy that I don’t agree with because they’re not evidence based.  But visualisation is evidence based.

Most elite athletes have adopted visualisation as part of their training.

Midwives also have to perform under pressure, so we can use visualisation to great effect. It’s also useful for generalised anxiety. Many excellent midwives I’ve talked to use this technique without really knowing what they’re doing – they just rehearse emergencies or other tense situations mentally.

To use visualisation to help with midwifery nervousness:

Think vividly about the situation you are nervous about, imagining you are super midwife. You are calm and confident and everything goes according to plan. You should cover all of your senses – hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touching, and imagine the event in perfect detail.

You can practice this technique sitting quietly, meditation stylie, when you’re in traffic or dropping off to sleep.

Do this enough times and your brain will automatically put you into that space as soon as the situation crops up.

I really hope this helps!

I’d love it if you came and shared your experiences with the ‘Secret Community For Midwives in the Making’ : https://www.facebook.com/groups/1502481079993917/?fref=ts

And please leave me a comment with if you’ve got a method for coping when the s**t hits the fan!

Student Midwife Fails [VIDEO]

‘Ellie, what are some funny student midwife fails you’ve come across in practice?’

‘Student Midwife Fails’ sounds like a bit of a mean title for a video – but on reflection I think I’ve been asked because we all need reassurance about getting things wrong.

Actually, student midwife ‘fails’ aren’t such a bad thing.

Yes, as midwives and student midwives we do a critically important job, and we should strive to get things right.

But failure is an excellent way to learn. In fact, people who are perceived as ‘successful’ actually fail more than their more ‘perfect’ counterparts.

Plus, some of the things we get wrong in practice are hilarious. Being a midwife some days can feel like stumbling from comedy sketch to comedy sketch.

I’d love to hear about your gaffs, student or otherwise, in the comments below!

You might just be the reason for someone being able to get up again and face their shift :)

If you liked this video, please consider using the youtube thumb of approval and ‘like’ it. (She asked nervously).

It helps my rankings, which in turn helps me grow midwifediaries!

Oh, and if you are liking midwifediaries stuff, you can always subscribe.

Midwifery Strike Action [VIDEO]

On September 29th the RCM announced it would be organising Midwifery Strike Action.  This video is a quick fire summary of what’s happening:

This is the first time ever that midwives have decided to strike.

Basically, the strike on 13th October is being organised so mums are babies are NOT in danger. The staffing will be similar to how it is on bank holidays. However, it’s difficult to know how things will pan out on the day. The RCM ‘guarantees’ safety of mums and babies despite midwifery strike action.

No-one wants to put Mums and Babies at risk.

It’s a really big decision to strike, and you have to think carefully about whether or not it’s for you. However, nearly 95% of members balloted by the RCM said ‘yes’ to midwifery strike action.

After the strike, ‘action short of a strike’ will be taken to keep making a point about pay. This will involve midwives not working overtime without being paid, and taking their breaks no matter what.

The strike is about fair pay.

Inflation goes up year by year, meaning products and service are more expensive. Pay has not increased to meet this. Hence midwives are getting paid less to do the same job. The RCM is trying to address this.

I can’t tell you what the right or wrong thing to do is here (and it’s not for me to say!). I can tell you that midwives I talked to in New Zealand who went on strike in the 1980s found it very difficult and struggled with their consciences, but also felt they were striking overall for the care of women and babies. A fair wage for midwives I would have thought means healthy midwives able to take care of themselves, and therefore able to do their seriously important job.

The RCM says: ‘ We believe that the Government’s treatment of NHS staff will affect care because staff that are demoralised cannot deliver the quality of care that NHS users, including women and babies, deserve. We believe that investing in staff is an investment in better care. ’

What’s your view? Please let me know, especially if you are a student or applying to the profession?

Pretty please? I’d love to know whether you would be striking in a midwife’s position, or whether you think you’d take strike action, whether you think it’s irresponsible, whether you think midwives are greedy considering the credit crunch or anything else!

If you liked the video, please consider sharing it :)

How to become a midwife, midwifery motivation and inspiration