With September fast approaching, the thought of preparing for your new Midwife course is likely to feel exciting but a bit daunting too.
I remember going into my first day on placement, hoping that my weeks at uni practicing how to take blood, do a blood pressure and how to palpate would set me up to get me through the first day! I was like a rabbit in the headlights, hoping that I had made the right choice, that I didn’t suddenly find out that I was squeamish or say the wrong thing.
Going into that first handover on labour ward, heart pounding with a mild sweat it all seemed very overwhelming. Eager to look keen and sitting on the edge of my seat I suddenly realised that midwifery involves learning another language and everything is shortened to an acronym just to confuse us newbies even more! To make things easier for you all I thought I would let you know what is handy to take with you when you go to placement.
Essential first day items
Although you will be given all the paperwork to fill out for numbers of women and babies that you’ve cared for, it is handy to have your own pocket-sized notebook to write important things down in that you can keep looking at as you need. You can also write down phone numbers and door codes too.
Ball point pens, red and black (blue isn’t used as it doesn’t photocopy well) I would take more than one of each as they tend to go missing.
A fob watch
An absolute essential as you won’t be able to wear a wrist watch. You will need one with a second hand on as you’ll be doing a lot of counting, glow in the dark helps and if you can find one with a date on too…. (That’s one thing that would make my life easier now!)
Small pair of pocket scissors. They come in very useful and worth having your own.
Shoes that you can wear in theatre. This is also something that is worth investing in. When your mentor says ‘ we are going to theatre’ you want to be able to be ready as quickly as possible, not spending time trying to find a pair of spare theatre shoes. Inevitably you will find two right shoes, both different sizes. So best option, have you own. Most hospitals will allow you to wear professional crocs, you can wipe them clean, they are anti-static and do not have holes for fluid to seep into. Black would be a good colour.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, but I liked having my own so it felt comfortable in my ear and it made getting used to take blood pressures in the early days easier.
This makes it easier to monitor your fluid intake when you are busy. Make sure you put your name on it!
Midwives love them! When we start to feel like we are getting a bit depleted of energy.. a banana really hits the spot in super speedy time.
A gestation wheel
This is where you can work out when the baby is due by calculating the first day of the last period. This is handy for working out what care you should be offering at that time of pregnancy and the days really do matter; there is a big difference between 36+6 and 37 weeks pregnant.
A midwifery dictionary
Pocket size and easy to carry around. It a wonderful resource for you to look at when you do not understand something or want read about a particular topic further.
A text book that you can have throughout your training also comes in very useful, there are several and its worth looking at which one you like the best, you are going to reference this text book in every essay. Two popular choices are Mays or Myles.
Do you know someone who is starting their placement in September?
You can show your support and how proud you are of them with the perfect gift- our New Midwife Starter Kit!
Containing the essentials listed above in a lovely bag, this is a thoughtful and highly practical gift to get them underway.
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