Saturday, 25 June 2011

Into delivery suite I go...

So here I am, a second year student and I've just started placement on Delivery Suite. On Sunday night I had butterflies in my tummy, and I was really nervous about starting placement this time. In part I think it's because wearing my second year badge, means I am meant to know stuff. Of course I do know a lot more than I did this time last year but there is still that feeling that you are faking it and soon someone will discover you don't know anything. It's a bit like the feeling that you are playing at being a grown up when you have children...I am sure some of you know what I mean.

Anyway I had my first shift on Monday and I felt like my head was full of cotton wool at the beginning of the day. It's been quite a while since we were last on placement and I had to get myself back into mindset and remember how things were done....mainly the documentation. Also this is the first time I've worked on Delivery Suite, having worked in the Midwife Led Unit before so I'm learning how things are different. The main difference is that there are far more high risk women being cared for which means that the CTG machines are used for monitoring, in some cases continuously throughout labour. Then there are the women who are on drips for inducing labour, women with epidurals, women with pre-existing conditions that need to be monitored, women carrying twins (or more), women who have had bleeding during pregnancy, women with high blood pressure, and anything else you can think of really.

In comparison with the midwifery led unit, delivery suite is more fast paced, and busier. There is always something going on. The doctors are also far more involved with care and decision making. One of the things I have learnt this week, is how quickly things can change, and how quickly the staff can move when they need to. For low risk women, the constant monitoring is not needed, but once you begin to intervene and various drugs are used, there can be a reaction to that drug, and it can be very sudden. However with the monitoring that is used, the response to any reaction is swift.

I've watched One Born Every Minute and how the midwives are portrayed - sat in the office drinking tea and eating cake whilst women labour on their own. I have to say this is definitely not my experience. Where I am the midwives spend the majority of the time in with their women. They may grab a cup of tea at some point, but often they don't get the chance, and I don't like to think how many midwives miss getting a lunch break because it's just too busy. Would you not agree that it would be a safer and happier environment for all if there were enough staff to ensure they got a break? It's not that I think it's unsafe where I am fortunately but I can definitely see that there would be a huge benefit to all, if there were more staff.  You can't predict who will walk the door, with what "problems" so you always have to be prepared for anything. Delivery suite needs midwives who work as a team, supporting each other, alongside the doctors, anaesthetists, maternity support workers, cleaners etc... Everyone has a vital role in delivery suite and communication is essential.