Written by Jacqueline Hermann, UTS Midwifery student
Be prepared for the unexpected – midwifery is dynamic, busy and you never know who is going to walk through the door! Tag along a midwifery student’s clinical placement and hear about what goes on!
Every shift on a midwifery clinical placement is different. This is the nature of pregnancy and birth – each woman is going to have her own unique experience, and as midwives we need to adapt our practice to provide woman-centred care that is individualised and supportive of her preferences.
There are many different areas you will be assigned to work in as a midwifery student. In the antenatal clinic women come in for their routine appointments. This involves taking clinical history, assessing the woman physically, emotionally, and mentally, assessing the wellbeing of the baby and providing education and advice.
In the birth unit, you could be supporting a woman in labour, helping to facilitate birth, assessing a woman who has come in for monitoring or caring for a woman following the birth of her baby in the immediate postnatal period.
After doing bed-side handover, I will either start with observations or assist the RM with medication rThe postnatal ward involves supporting women after the birth of their babies. The work often involves consulting with a multidisciplinary healthcare team that includes medical officers, lactation consultants, women’s health physios, perinatal mental health and social workers, and the Early Childhood Health Centre.
On a daily basis you can expect to be supporting women to breastfeed, educating women and their support people on mother-crafting skills and normal newborn behaviours, and attending to observations and checks on the woman and her baby. Some women may have greater needs, especially if they have had a caesarean section or an instrumental birth.
The postnatal ward is usually busy and requires you to be able to plan out your day based on the needs of the women and babies in your care, have exceptional time management skills, and be able to prioritise care.
These are the main areas within a hospital setting that clinical placement is completed, but other areas you may gain experience in include the antenatal ward, where high risk women are admitted for ongoing monitoring, special care nursery, operating theatres, birth centre, community based antenatal clinics and other specialised clinics.
Any given day can bring a variety of experiences, that help to develop the clinical skills needed to become a Registered Midwife.
Learn more about studying Midwifery at UTS.