I remember when I first started placement which wasn’t that long ago having only just qualified, I remember not sleeping the night before my first day as I was so nervous. I remember thinking that they were going to expect me to know everything and I didn’t. I have created my top tips for surviving your first placement. I have split this is into a two-part blog here are my first 8 tips to survive your first placement.
1.Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
As a first year you are not going to be expected to know everything! That goes for second and third years, Midwifery is a constantly changing and evolving profession. New research is constantly coming out. No midwife knows everything, so don’t think that Midwives expect first years students too.
2. A Plan
It’s great to have an idea of what your learning outcomes for that semester are going to be. But is also great to have a couple of goals of your own that you want to achieve, 2-3 small goals. This could be taking bloods, knowing your way around the emergency trolley, or getting to know your palpations.
3.Organisation is KEY
This is so important. When I was a student I would always ensure that I had my bag packed the night before ready to go. This included my practice assessment document, lunch and a bottle of water, notepad, pens, stethoscope, fob watch, my ID badge, tourniquet and whatever bits of equipment I needed for that particular allocation. I also took any university assignments with me, as sometimes on quite shifts it was a great opportunity to get some university work done.
The day before you are due to go call the ward and introduce yourself, let them know that you are due to come in, confirm what time and who you are down to work with (in case that person is off sick it gives the co-ordinator time to allocate you to someone else).
5.Get there on time
I know this may seem like an obvious one, but on your first day leave an extra 15-20 minute early, so you get there early and safely. This will allow you to get there and changed as well as some extra time to familiarise yourself with the ward, in time for handover.
6.Ask for a tour
When you starting placement it can be really scary especially if you have never been in a hospital setting. So on your first day ask your mentor to give you a tour around, showing you where stock can be found and where the emergency trolley/equipment it kept, including the resus equipment.
Find out where you can find the hospitals policies for maternity, as this will assist you in your learning. When I was a student I took a copy of the labour care policy I found it really useful to see how my trust practiced, as each trust practices slightly differently.
8. Comparing Yourself
Don’t compare yourself to others! Everyone is at different stages of there learning and your only put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Enjoy the experience and take it day by day.
I hope you find these tips useful, follow The Travelling Midwife on Facebook to ensure you don’t miss out on Part Two for starting placement.