Simply put, we gain the skills through practice. Practice is a close second, and then after that, practice rounds it out.
Yet, it doesn’t seem fair to “practice” on clients. Rather, we practice on one another until we have mastered the skill, then we can transfer that practical knowledge to our clientele much more safely and professionally.
How does it look here at Preparing for Birth, among my fellow students? Our preceptor came up with a great idea to give us a chance to apply our academic skills practically. Once a month, we have a scheduled four-hour block of time to discuss, learn, and implement skills. This month, we learned to do speculum exams, PAP smears, and bimanual exams. This required some chatting and warming up first, since it’s a rather intimate skill set, then we all washed properly, gloved up, and took turns on one another. We had another midwife with us, as well as her student, so it was a sizable group.
There was a lot of laughter, affirming language, encouragement, correction, and guidance. I came away feeling confident that I have a good starting point with those skills, and I am really looking forward to practicing again, and honing the skills to a fine, sharp point. The above picture is from our skills day — a rare glimpse into the world of student midwifery. As I lay there, I could not resist the opportunity to take this shot, and share it. These women are powerhouses, and I am so glad to be a part of such a community!
We are student midwives, with our preceptors, walking an incredible and humorous road paved by generations of women who have gone before. We learn best in community. We are not islands. We are a a village. Together, we learn, we grow, we change, and we improve, all to serve women and their families a little better everyday.
Grace & Peace,