Sunday, 11 July 2010

End of my first week on placement

It was certainly easier coming in for my second shift...just knowing where I could get changed and roughly what to expect made it much better. We had no labourers or births on my second or third shift yet so far my second shift has been my most enjoyable.

On my second shift I spent far more time with my mentor. She was keen to get me doing things so I was doing some postnatal checks with her. The only practice I'd had at reading blood pressures, was one class at Uni and a couple of tries on my husband at home. I certainly didn't feel very confident. However my mentor was happy for me to jump in and have a go and then she'd check it afterwards for me. The first time was a little nerve wracking but the lady was really nice and understood I was learning. So the first couple of times I wasn't very confident at all but my mentor checked them for me afterwards. On the third one, it felt like something clicked and I got it. And since then I've felt perfectly happy to check any ones blood pressure.

Of course doing postnatal checks is rather more than checking blood pressure...there are a fair few questions to ask the new mums too. So there I am...first time I've ever met this poor woman and I have to ask her if she's managed to wee or open her bowels yet. The first time I hesitated as lets face it, it's embarrassing. I remember being embarrassed when I was asked after having my own children. I wasn't embarrassed for me...I was embarrassed for them. However I quickly learnt that the more matter of fact I was about asking the question, the easier it was for them. Also it gave them the opportunity to raise any questions they had, that they might not have asked otherwise.

We had quite a few discharges to do on that second shift and by the afternoon I was feeling confident enough to go away and do postnatal checks on my own. My mentor also decided to work with me on doing the basic baby checks. I read through the notes, to see what would I would be checking and off we went. Exactly the same as with the mothers, I had no demonstration of what to do but my mentor stayed with me the whole time, and "held my hand" through it. Whenever I looked unsure, she reminded me what to check next, and she also talked to me about why we were checking. So whilst I felt a bit thrown in at the deep end, I actually felt it suited me really well. I had no time to get too nervous about it and it means now that the first time is over and done with so nothing to be nervous about anymore - well in theory.

My third shift was again quiet from the point of view of no labourers or births but we had quite a few women on the ward. There was also quite a few feeding issues going on with a lot of sleepy babies. We weren't sure how much the heat was playing a part but it certainly wasn't helping anyone. So the main jobs for the day, were postnatal checks and breastfeeding support. We also seemed to move a lot of beds around...lots of women changing rooms for various reasons.

So now I have just three weeks remaining on the ward where I am and I am really really hoping to at least see some labourers, if not some births. I am also hoping it doesn't stay as hot as it has been as it has been truly unbearable on the ward.......maybe this is the way I'll lose some weight ;) Four long shifts this week so fingers crossed for some more active learning :)

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