Taking the first steps in practice
Like many newly qualified midwives, Heidi Stone was apprehensive about her first few weeks in practice, but the support of her team helped to build her confidence.
This month's blog focuses on my transition from student to midwife—and I'm not afraid to say that I was apprehensive, to say the least, in starting as a newly qualified midwife.
As a third-year student you have the big protective security blanket of your mentor being there all the time, hiding in the background, picking up things that you may have forgotten along the way, covering your back and basically making sure you don't make mistakes while instilling confidence in both you and the nervous, anxious families.
During that last shift you are on a real high. You've got your Practice Assessment Document signed off, you feel on top of the world—you've finally made it! Three years of stress, countless sleepless nights worrying about exams and completing essays and, when you're on call with your community midwife, more sleepless nights waiting for that phone to ring calling you to that one in a million, golden homebirth. Then, all of a sudden, reality hits. Your PIN number lands on your doorstep and fear sets in. The sheer weight of being a qualified midwife suddenly turns from joyous celebration to reality. The responsibility of assisting a woman to bring a baby into the world, with the uncertainty of not knowing what twist her birth may take, without the support of your mentor being there to hold your hand, hits you hard. You begin to look longingly at first-year students, wishing you could go back to that first year with the luxury of no responsibilities.
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