Maximizing your Apprenticeship Opportunity
Journal your births and what you have learned: Part of becoming a good midwife is learning self-examination. We can learn from our past and remember important lessons if we record them. Although some of us may not be journalists by nature, keeping track of our births is an important way of recording your birth experience. It is not required by NARM, but I can’t tell you how handy my journal has been in keeping track, when confusion sets in…. and it will! In an empty notebook or hardbound lined paper journal, always write the date, name of birth mom, name of baby, and birth particulars. Note what role you took at the birth. Note generally what happened, the lessons you learned, any problems that resolved or transports.
Start your journal with all the births you have attended thus far that you can remember, including the name of birth mom and date of birth. (Don’t forget to include your own!)
Set specific personal study time and group study time each week. Teaching others or giving a report is an excellent way to delve deeper into a specific subject.
Make study goals for yourself to get assignments done and prioritize to keep up with it.
Establish a study area in your home, with your assignments, paper, pens computer and reference books.
Use 3-ring binders with tabs to keep track of different modules, assignments, tests and feedback from your preceptor you have printed off.
Start a filing cabinet with folders to keep things together such as NNR, CPR card, resources by topic. Don’t wait until you have a pile to sort through. Start now. Keep blank file folders handy to add to the cabinet.
Find your study groove. What works best for you? Seeing pictures and diagrams, hearing information, touching and working with models? As you study more, the easier it will be to remember. Use acronyms to retain many parts to a subject. Draw pictures and label them. Put them on the wall to see daily.
About spelling and pronunciation. Spelling and the pronunciation of medical terms are one way we are judged as professionals. If we make a mess of our preceptor’s chart and write a slang term, we look less competent. (“Pee” instead of void, etc… ) Use a dry erase board in a visible area to write the words that we need to remember saying and spelling. Fold several pieces of paper together in half long ways to create a book. This is your spelling book. Quiz each other weekly. Learn to spell. Use an internet pronunciation guide to hear the medical terms said correctly.
Your book of questions: Keep notebook handy to write down terms or concepts that you don’t understand. Take the time to research and learn what those mean. This is how you build a solid foundation for learning. Do not avoid terms or concepts or areas because you don’t know. Seek out the information. Ask someone if you are struggling. This is your time to enjoy learning and to do a thorough job. (Later as a busy midwife, you are expected to know, and may not have the time to research as quickly.)