- 01 April 2019
- 9 min read
Managing time as a midwifery student
In this guide, Louisa shares how she manages her time as a student midwife. If you're a nursing or midwifery student, pick up these tips to help yourself out!
Hey y’all, welcome back to my channel Being Louisa.
So today's video is sponsored by Nurses.co.uk. Nurses.co.uk is a website where you see all things nursing, from job vacancies to tips and tricks on their blog posts.
They also have midwifery jobs and blogs section which was grown with us!
So today's video is going to be all about time management as a student midwife.
Also, a disclaimer - every hospital is going to be different, every trust is going to be different so it all kind of depends on where you are exactly, but I can give you like a generalised idea.
With my university, there are five hospitals that are connected to the University within the Southwest London area and so within those five hospitals, they're all different.
A couple of you guys who I know are uni in different parts of London, you guys have different timings and different scenarios as well, so it's all different! I hope this helps a little bit.
If you're reading this as a prospect midwifery student, here's how to qualify for and find a job as a midwife!
Anyway, let's get started!
"Placement is basically like being on the same hours as a registered Midwife because you're following your mentors hours"
So I'm going to kind of split it up into different ones - I'm not sure how it works if you have like the integrative timetable where you have uni for a couple of days during the week and then you have placement for a couple of days during the week, I don't quite know how that works, but mine are in blocks.
So with a university block, I'm not gonna say like normal a uni because I know a lot of uni students who only go to lectures like twice a week and it's a couple of hours, so with us it's more kind of like keeping with like the basic school type timetable where it's like a set time.
So our uni times on 9am-4pm, sometimes 9am-4pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and then Wednesdays it's like either a half day until 12pm or it's a free day so technically it's a guided study and you get a topic you're supposed to be studying.
So that's my uni, Monday to Friday you're at uni and then on the weekends, it's your time off.
Also, you're trying to do work, depends on how you work best but that's kind of like the Uni block and you'll have that for however many weeks.
I think the most I've been at uni is 3 weeks this year, that’s starting from like the beginning of the school year.
Every University is different but that's just how my university is. In between those uni blocks, you're on placement - basically, if you're not at uni and if you don't have independent study then you're on placement.
Placement is basically like being on the same hours as a registered midwife because you're following your mentors hours.
If you're lucky enough you're gonna get great continuity of mentor and that really helps and then you can know their shift pattern and follow their shift pattern completely.
But different sites and different places, they have a lack of mentors available so your shift plan may be different, it may be strange and so it all just depends on how well staffed your trust is and how your CPF, so your clinical placement facilitator, can actually navigate that.
Then when you're on placement, depending on what area you're in and what your hospital is like, usually you do thirty-seven and a half hours roughly, so anywhere you can get that in a week basically, that's going how you gonna do it.
If you're like doing Ward shifts then they’re usually like twelve hours long.
Some trusts do twelve and a half hour shifts, but technically it’s eleven and a half because you have an hour lunch break, or some shifts are twelve hours and then eleven hours with your hour break.
You should do three of those a week, sometimes you could end up doing four a week which is so stressful but usually do three of those a week.
If you're doing more clinical work they're usually four or five days a week and that's usually between like 8am and 6pm, it depends on where you're at.
I know some clinics people have been in until 10pm, so it just depends on where you're at, who you’re working with and what days.
You do that about four to five days a week depending on the hours and where you're at and if you’re community or if you're in the hospital, and stuff like that.
Use the fact that you get your rotas in advance to your advantage
So the way that I'm able to manage my time is the fact that we get our rotas in advance so we have like a rough year planner at the mid to end the summer, so in August we got our year planner which is not that helpful because we only get three weeks off for the summer and get it just before summer.
But I basically use last year’s rota to see roughly throughout the rest of the what's happening when, and if you can work out when you have your placement block.
Then some hospitals, it depends on the trust, some trusts can give you the rota two months in advance or they'll give you the rota a month in advance, and that's not like the trust itself that's the person who has to facilitate your placement, so your CPF.
The rotas for the registered midwives come out ages beforehand, you can do rota requests three to four months in advance but then they obviously are always swapping shifts and changing shifts.
So usually, as a student, you get your rota a month before you're meant to be in that place so that you know exactly what days you're working and the times you are working.
Once you get the rota that's a really great way to figure out when you can work if you're working, if you have a part-time job you can do extra shifts when you can, or if you have kids you know what days off you can have to spend with your kids, or you can request days off so that you can like make sure you can spend time with whoever you want, spend time with or treat yourself.
But yes, this is all about preparation and trying to get that planner and that diary in that time table in as much in advance as you can.
If the faculty can't give you the planner or the time table, try and ask other students like in the first year, second or third year, whoever!
If they have like their rotas for that year, even though it's gonna be different you should have like a rough start date so you can book things and have a rough idea of when you can do other things.
When you're on placement, if you're only doing three shifts all week you're like ‘yeah I have so much time in the world, I have like four extra days’ - no.
On those days you're probably gonna be sleeping, trying to catch up on sleep, and if you do night shifts about one and a half of those days you're trying to be figuring out how to get back on to regular people time!
Sometimes you're gonna have like a shift, a day off, a shift, a day off, a shift, a day off, and you can't really do much with that so be mindful of that.
Don't go out partying on your days off if you have a shift the next day because that's not very responsible, so just really be mindful of how your shift patterns are.
Try to schedule in naps as much as possible because naps are great!
Keep your life in a diary
Really and truly preparation is key for midwifery, time management and writing stuff down.
I'm not a calendar person or a diary person but I've got myself a paper diary and I've been writing down like my work shifts or for my part-time work and my internships, and then also for my placement, and even when I’m at uni I write it down so I remember it.
I write when I'm gonna have cheer practice even though it’s on the same two days every week, I write down when I have ballet so that I don't forget because it's so easy to forget to put in your phone or just forget and be like, ah nothing to do, and actually you did have things to do like I did last week!
Make sure you get yourself a diary or a wall calendar so you can see physically what you have to do.
It's great having it on your phone but sometimes there might be a day where you just forget to pick up your phone, which is rare with us Millennials and you know the younger generation!
It happens so make sure you can get a paper diary like a physical paper diary or a wall calendar and write out all your shifts or when you're going to be in block and when you're supposed on placement and placement block, even if you don't know the exact days you might be on placement.
As long as you can say ‘placement block starts here and ends here’ so that you know roughly what's what and where it's going to be.
I hope this video is helpful!
I hope you guys enjoyed this video and until next time keep on being you!
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