Hi! New to blogging so here goes!
I’m so excited to get back to University, we have just had two lovely weeks off for Christmas. I was able to spend some well earnt time relaxing with my husband, children and our crazy dalmatian. We even had a little holiday to visit the ‘big man’ in Lapland!
I still cannot quite believe I’m a second year student already! I’m not really sure where that first year went, I remember sitting in the lecture room (now known as ‘our’ room, as that’s where we spent most of first year 😊) on the very first day thinking that second year was a forever away! I learnt so much and experienced even more than I ever expected in that year! Coming to York was most definitely the right decision for me. I enjoy the block placements and university time, I feel we are able to better put into practice the skills and knowledge while it’s still all fresh!
Different placement areas
So now in second year, I am currently working in my ‘away’ trust. I spent the first few months in the community so I’m excited to get back onto the hospital wards. Working in a different placement area has shown how different other areas can be in processing paperwork, making referrals and how the community clinics are run in comparison to my previous community placement. I’ve had the opportunity to ask (many) questions on why things are done the way they are. I never thought I would have the confidence to do that!
My confidence in practice is improving all the time and each day I still learn new things and develop my skills. My away trust also has clinical areas I have not yet had an opportunity to work in while at my home trust. So I’m excited to gain more experience in those areas.
Good support is key
A typical week as a student midwife can vary, we are either in university or on placement. I try to get myself and the rest of my life as organised as I can if that is even possible. We have had some weeks where it just did not happen!
My husband takes a lot of the responsibility in getting the girls to school and collecting them from the childminders. Having good support behind you on this degree is absolute key whether you have a partner, children, pets or not. There have been times where I have found all the work overwhelming and needed someone to talk to, keep me going and remind me that I am following my dream, so it will all be worth it, honestly!
Find a way of study that works for you
Make each day count! I live an hour away from both university and my placement area, so I like to take full advantage of that! I found I am able to take in new information much more effectively when it is spoken or demonstrated. For my exam prep, I began to record myself reading through my revision notes. I then listened to this while driving!
The facilities on campus are also great, the library has all you need, which in turn will save some pennies! The lecturers tend to open up the information for the next module in good time. I like to take advantage of this and get some pre-reading/work done when the girls go to bed! I found that taking the time to prepare for each module helped me organise my revision notes early on, while they were still fresh in my head!
As we are a small cohort, we have got to know each other and try to help each other where we can. I have made some amazing friends within our cohort and they have also been there to keep me going when I found myself struggling. We have been there for each other while revising for our exams and writing our assignments.
Speaking of which, all our exams/assignments deadlines are placed before our annual leave (one of my favourite features of this degree)! This then removes the worry of revision during annual leave. Time off is then real time off! I’m not going to lie the midwifery degree is full on. So take full advantage of your leave, you will need it to recharge.
Shifts in the hospital can be difficult if they are something you haven’t done before. As I worked as a midwifery assistant on a VERY busy labour ward prior to this degree, I had a LOT of experience in long days and night shifts. Night shifts can be difficult. I try to sleep for a few hours before I leave home. I’ve never been able to eat a meal at 1am so find snacks are the way to go. With a can of fizzy pop usually helping at 4am, to give me a boost to get to the end of the shift. 😉
All in all, I really have enjoyed every second so far. The lecturers are so helpful and supportive. You will be assigned a personal supervisor from the team of Midwifery lecturers at the start of your degree. They are able to provide support or point you in the right direction (my supervisor has been fab!). The mentors in the placement areas have all been very supportive too. They are very eager to give you as much exposure in all areas as possible.
Biggest tip so far would be to enjoy every moment and be proactive in gaining new experiences.