• 23 July 2019
  • 8 min read

Best and worst midwifery placement experiences

  • Louisa
    Student Midiwfe

Working on placement has its highs, but it also has its lows. In this blog, Louisa shares both. A doula that made her cry and a husband that made her day.

Play video: Here are Louisa's best and worst placement experiences

Topics covered in this video

0.00 Introduction - best and worst experiences on midwifery placement

0.26 My worst experience - when a doula made me cry

6.01 My best experience - the husband who told me I was amazing

Watch more videos by Louisa

0.00 Introduction - best and worst experiences on midwifery placement

Hey y’all, welcome back to my channel Being Louisa!

Today's video is going to be my best and my worst experience on placement, and today's video is also going to be sponsored by Nurses.co.uk.

Nurses.co.uk is an online website where you can find all things nursing, from job posts to blog posts and the midwifery section, which is expanding with us!

0.26 My worst experience - when a doula made me cry

So I'm gonna start off with my worst experience because, one, it's the longest - I feel like whenever I explain it I have to go into detail - and, two, because I want to end on a positive.

Basically, my worst ever experience happened a couple of months ago and it was on labour and delivery.

The birth plan

Me and my mentor, we read her birth plan and it did say they didn't want any medical students in there at all and midwifery student at only observational capacity and I was like ‘ok, cool’, in my head I was making a plan.

So this has happened to me one other time, and like I was in the room and then they said ‘oh, actually she doesn't want a student there’ she told my mentor, she got really bad about it, and I was fine with that because I was like a nervous wreck because I was in first year!

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So this time around I came up with a plan and I was going to ask if it was okay, because I had seen in a couple of women's plans that they didn’t want student midwives in the room or they didn’t want student midwives to participate, and when I went in the room, introduced myself and asked if it was okay, they were actually okay to have students in the room.

So I kind of thought I knew how this was going to go.

We then went into the room; there was the woman, her partner and also her doula.

Doulas

Because I have a doula friend on YouTube I was like ‘doulas are awesome’ and I always try to stick up for doulas even when the midwives are like kind of bashing doulas because they've never had a good experience.

This doula, this doula made me rethink sticking up for them because this doula made me feel worthless in a sense, and I hate feeling that way.

It was horrible, and sometimes I thought ‘maybe I'm over-exaggerating’ but then other times I'm like, no, I’m not even exaggerating enough!

So, basically, after we had done our spiel, and the whole time we were talking, we were talking to the woman but, because where I was standing in the room me and the doula were facing each other, we were all talking together, the woman was in labour so we were talking to the doula as well, and so, yes, we get to the end of our explanation which is about 10 minutes or so, for 10 minutes this doula has been looking at me.

Doula shows no respect

We have been talking to the doula and she turned away from me, she literally turned her back on me to talk to my mentor.

That was like, whatever, but then what makes it worse is she turned around and then was like ‘so and so doesn’t want any medical students in the room and the student midwives can only observe, they cannot partake in any way in the labor and delivery’, she kept reiterating that and talking about me as if I wasn't in the room and she hadn't been looking at me for the last ten minutes.

I was in shock that someone could be so rude about it, like I've had women be like apologetic - when it happened to me in the first year, she was so apologetic, she felt so embarrassed and I was like ‘it's okay, it's your choice, it's your birth’.

But this was different because the way the doula was talking about me as if I wasn’t in the room the fact that she turned away from me after looking at me for ten minutes, physically turning her whole body away from me to look at my mentor and talk about me as if I’m not in the room...

I just thought it was disrespectful and because I know my worth I thought I shouldn't be talked to or about in that capacity.

She tried to make it professional but it just felt really rude, she could have said that to me, she could have said to me ‘I'm so sorry but so and so doesn't want any students to partake in the labour and delivery, but you can observe’ she could have said that, that would have been perfectly okay.

When me and my mentor left, my mentor was like ‘I can't believe that happened like that's actually kind of rude, I thought you said students could be in the room’ I was like, no it did say only an observational capacity, and my mentor was like ‘but how are you supposed to learn if you can't do your job?’ and I was like, it's ok.

I then went to the bathroom and cried and I called my mum and I was crying because I felt so disrespected.

When I went back in the room I felt so awkward, I literally stood right across the opposite end of the room from all of them, I was writing my notes - I wrote the note and my mentor did everything.

There were times when my mentor asked me to help with something but I felt really awkward doing it. I felt so awkward approaching the bed, approaching the woman, because of the way they doula spoke to me.

I felt awkward, I felt like I shouldn’t have been there, it just made me not want to do my job and that's a terrible thing to feel but that's just how she made me feel.

Every time I took a blood pressure I felt like I shouldn't be doing that because she said she didn't want it, I shouldn’t partake in anyway.

So yeah, that was hard, that was my worst experience.

6.01 My best experience - the husband told me I was amazing

And now my best experience!

They kind of always roll into one but it's generally me helping someone and then them telling me that I actually help.

You know, when you do something nice for someone or you help someone out, and then you think you did a really great job or you think that you've really helped them out and really and truly you haven't!

So when I get told that something I did really helped, I make a note of it and keep it in my repertoire.

I think I partially spoke about this in my labour and delivery as a second-year video.

A lovely couple

There was this couple who felt like my friends, it felt like I had known them for a really long time, I loved them!

But yeah, after the birth, which was awesome, I was leaving, I popped my head back in and said ‘bye, I'm off! I wish I could stay, I'm definitely coming to visit you guys tomorrow’.

I loved them, I actually did go and visit them the next day because like I loved them so much.

Being told I'm amazing

As I was going, the husband said ‘you were amazing, I can't believe how much you helped her, she really listened to you, I'm so thankful, I can’t believe you’re a student and you’re so young, you have what it takes to be a midwife because of the way you've helped direct her and she listened and how soothing you were, and the things you told her like the tips and tricks that you told her too really helped her do it’ he said he was so thankful for me and I was just standing there on the verge of tears.

I really needed to hear that, that day because the week before that I've been like doubting myself and like me doing this course, but he really helped.

I don't feel like he fluffed my ego I guess but also he helped me with my confidence and I really appreciated that, and they will forever be in my heart.

They are the cutest family, I love the love story and how they met and everything, it was really cool.

So yeah, that must be my best experience I think! I hope you’ve enjoyed this video.

If you guys are a first year, second year or third-year student midwife, or even a qualified Midwife, let me know what your best experiences have been and even if you want to share what your worst experiences have been, it'd be really great to hear your stories too!

I hope you guys enjoyed this video, and in the meantime keep on being you!

If you like this video give it a thumbs up, comment down below any questions or suggestions and don't forget to subscribe to get weekly updates. Bye!

Watch more videos by Louisa

How to stay motivated as a student midwife

Do men make good midwives?

The top 5 most unexpected truths about Midwifery

Managing time as a midwifery student

Previous life experiences that led me to midwifery

A midwife's tips on how to survive the night shift

What I imagine my career as a midwife will be like

Top 10 tips to get through a 12 hour shift

5 things I wish I knew before starting midwifery

My favourite parts of being a student Midwife

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About the author

  • Louisa
    Student Midiwfe

I'm a student Midwife studying at Kingston University, partnered with St. Georges in London. Alongside my uni work and placements, I also create vlogs for my channel, Being Louisa, and for Nurses.co.uk.

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