Student Midwife Diaries #6


Second Placement, Labour Suite. 

I'm so sleepy I feel like I could sleep for about 4 years. Placement is incredible, but it is exhausting. In every way imaginable. 

 I'm at the point where my brain is unable to absorb much more information. I feel like it is at capacity. The thing they don't tell you about being on placement is that you are mentally exhausted. Imagine your first day at work; a new group of people, not knowing where anything is or how to really do anything. Now imagine that all the time. Along with trying to impress, to learn, to show your best side and be a happy lovely student that women actually want near them. It's exhausting. The added pressure of actually absorbing everything you see, learning on the job, and learning things you haven't even thought about yet. 

I think the biggest hurdles have been the simplest. Getting used to where to find things, peoples names, how to work the toaster... but mostly the acronyms. Midwives, and basically all medical staff - speak in code. When you don't know the code you are seriously stumped. It's like watching people talking a foreign language. Luckily some of them are easier to figure out than others, and others well - you just have to ask (or google). Luckily I'm now at a point where I understand the majority of them, and now confuse people by using them too. OOPS. 

T H E   A C R O N Y M S
PRIM - Pregnant with First Baby
PARA - One or more babies previously - So "Para 1, Para 2, Para 3. etc"
SVD - Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery
(EM/EL) LUSCS - (Emergency/Elective) Lower Uterine Segment Caesarean Section
VBAC - Vaginal Birth After Caesarean 
PPH - Post-Partum Haemorrhage
ARM - Artificial Rupture (of) Membranes
SRM - Spontaneous Rupture (of) Membranes
VE - Vaginal Examination
FBC - Full Blood Count
IOL - Induction of Labour
FH - Fetal Heart
FMF - Fetal Movements Felt
CCT - Controlled Cord Traction
PCEA - Patient Controlled Epidural Anesthesia 
PET - Pre-Eclamptic Toxaemia
ROA, LOA, LOP, OP, ROP, - baby's position of the occipital bone (back of the head) in relation to you. so Right/Left Occipital Anterior/Posterior. 
DVT - Deep Vein Thrombosis
VTE - Venous Thromboembolism
CAT1 Section - Immediate threat to the baby and/or mother. 
CAT2 Section - Threat to the health of the baby and/or mother. 
Ceph - Cephalic, head down. 
Augmentation - Artificially bringing on contractions. 
Analgesic - Pain Killers
SITU - Where it came from

T H E   S P E L L I N G !
I can't spell. And nothing really makes me realise this as much as when a drug has been used or a condition has been mentioned. Like: Thrombocytopenia, Analgesic, cesarean, anaesthesia, anaesthetist, I could go on and on with all the A's and E's. It makes me just want to write: the doctor drug man gave them some pain meds - but that wouldn't be professional (so I won't). 



The first two weeks of this month I was on my Community Placement still. I loved it. My mentor was incredible, the team was amazing, and I just loved the vibe there. I left that placement with an A grade. I was VERY happy about that. I was really sad to leave when I did, I felt like I found my feet, then it was over. I love the continuity in community - getting to see people multiple times throughout their pregnancy is just lovely, definitely a favourite for me. 


L A B O U R   S U I T E 

I'm two weeks into my labour suite placement now. 5 shifts, 4 births (two complications, two catches). Labour Suite is like the very deep end. Every shift is different. Every labour is different. You have to prepare for anything - and know when to stay calm and when to stay calm but internally panic. I'm really enjoying the more complex births, and I'm enjoying learning new techniques and different ways of working. But university really didn't prepare us for this - it isn't straight forward. It is inductions, drips, complications - so really, us first years are all a bit clueless (But at least we are clueless together). Fingers crossed the rest of the placement goes well - but I am enjoying it. It just makes me realise how much I still can - and want to - learn. 

Pssst. I wrote this post at 22.09 the day before it was due up - after a 12.5hr shift - so please excuse any spelling errors... and I apologise if just none of it makes sense. The joys of placement - but hey, its reality. Life isn't easy being a student. 

I have created an Instagram especially for my Midwifery Journey, you can follow it here, or search @Midwife_Erin on Instagram :)

I attend Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, studying Bachelor of Midwifery, you can apply or find out more here: 


Make sure to follow me on instagram for constant updates too! :)

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