I cannot even believe how long it’s been since I last wrote a post – its going SO quickly 👀 I have finished ALL lectures for year one now and I start placement again next week for four weeks! I then have two weeks off to sit two OSCE’s and submit a workbook and an essay before heading back out to placement for another eight weeks before summer! 🌞 Today I’ll be sharing my top tips that iv found helpful so far!
1) BATCH COOKING – This is a must for me! I can’t think of anything worse then coming home from a 12.5 hour shift and having to make my lunch for the next day (I have my main meal at lunch when on placement to get me through the day, so I only have a quick snack when I get home usually) so it makes life so much easier to just be able to grab a meal out the freezer ready for my next shift!
2) SPEAK TO OTHER STUDENTS – I love to share experiences with my fellow student friends, we all share our experiences with each other which helps us learn how to deal with and what to do in certain situations that we may not have come across ourselves (of course maintaining confidentiality, to make sure nobody can be identified!). It’s also good to speak to your friends if you have had an upsetting or stressful event, it’s so important to have a debrief and have someone you know you can lean on when you need it. Support each other!
3) DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK – Do not be afraid to ask ANYBODY, ANYTHING. If your on placement and your unsure of why something is happening, ask! It’s how we learn. In my last placement I was in a room with a woman in early labour, she wasn’t coping well with the pain and refused to mobilise. I went and spoke to my mentor and asked if I could get her in the pool and she said no – I was so confused, I didn’t understand why, after all I was only trying to help this woman feel more comfortable. Later, she explained that if a woman gets into the birthing pool during early labour it can relax her too much, causing labour to slow down or stop – that really made sense but I should have asked her earlier so I knew exactly why!
4) ALWAYS HAVE A NOTEBOOOK – Honestly the amount of information you get just from one shift can sometimes be really overwhelming, especially on night shifts! So writing it down can be so useful as you can refer back to it during your break, or at home to expand your knowledge.
5) DOCUMENT YOUR DAY – I have bought myself a little notebook to do my reflections in at the end of every shift. I think it’s important to document learning experiences, events you have been involved in, your feelings, how you dealt with a situation or what you could have changed just so you have chance to sit down and properly think about things. Sometimes your so rushed on shift that something happens and you don’t have chance to think about it as your straight onto the next thing! It’s so important to get your feelings down and I also think it will be super interesting to read back on when I have qualified!
6) SAY YES TO NEW EXPERIENCES AND HAVE CONFIDENCE – I know it can be scary, daunting and nerve wracking but just do it – it’s better to experience a difficult situation when your a student and you have a mentor, rather then you coming across it for the first time qualified! In the community, my mentor and me had a home visit for a woman who had a still birth two days prior. I told my midwife I was a little uncomfortable about doing any of the visit and I’d be happy just to observe because honestly, I just wasn’t sure how to act or how I’d feel. I got in there and as sad as it was, you know your there as a professional and you know this woman is looking for strength and support. In the end, I didn’t just sit and observe. I helped care for this woman, and as scary as it was I learnt so much from that and it made me realise we can REALLY make a difference to these families lives 💖
7) BE PROUD – Take your objectives to placement and be proud of what you achieve. Don’t compare yourself to others. Plan, know what you need to do and and be proud of EVERYTHING you accomplish! You will look back and see just how far you’ve come!
8) TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF – As they say, you can’t pour an empty cup!
Lots of love