Today I spent all day at school. I sat in with Susannah, the course coordinator, on her class day with the 2nd year B.Mid. students. They're doing a problem-based learning program, and currently they are focusing on vulnerable newborns. The problem patient was a woman who didn't know she was pregnant who ruptured membranes with twins at approximately 29 weeks. So the issues of twin birth, breech birth, and neonatal resuscitation came up, among other things. The PBL model is fascinating. In this model, the students themselves do most of the teaching to their peers.
After lunch there was a practice hour for their upcoming practical exam, known by the acronym OSCA. Objective Structured Clinical Assessment. They are all terrified that they'll have to do something they don't know about, despite Susannah's reassurance that it's all normal midwifery that they do all the time. I took a station at the practice and helped them through their mechanisms of birth.
I felt like I was back at Downstate! Today was 'pirate day' and they all came in with striped or white shirts, head scarves, hoop earrings, lots of clinky jewelry, and someone even had a stuffed parrot. They bring food to share and are clearly well bonded.
The students, in this group anyway, have great energy, and they know so much already. Only one is a nurse now and she is an enrolled nurse (equivalent to LPN). They are all at least in their mid-20s and a couple are a fair bit older with kids. It's really demonstrating the beauty of the midwifery baccalaureate, completed in 3 years.
I'm still learning about how it all works, which is handy as I'll be expected to have my own section of students starting in February.
Next week's class is their last; they all spend the 3rd year strictly in clinical placements. They'll do presentations on the topics pertinent to the end of the problem scenario, and they're planning lunch out together at a pizza place. I'll bring my camera and post some photos from that class.