This week we have OSCE exams for our midwifery students which is when they have to come and demonstrate their clinical and communication skills in front of an examiner. Needless to say, feelings run high and students get very nervous.
Old age setting in
Yesterday, I was 'camp mother' which meant it was my role to direct proceedings and make sure no students ran away! And my main words of comfort were...
"you're lucky, in my day..."
The dreaded midwifery viva
In my day, back in the early 1980s, we had a viva, which was an oral exam.
I had to go all the way to London on the train which was an incredible adventure for me - a bit like the country mouse visiting the big city. What was particularly exciting was that I was going to meet up with my sister, who was studying in London, after the viva and we were going to have afternoon tea at The Ritz.
My destination was a huge hall filled with rows of tables. At each table sat a midwife and obstetrician poised ready to grill hundreds of students from all over the region.
The midwife and obstetrician fired questions at me for what seemed to be ages. One of the questions I remember being asked was what I would do at a home birth if there was suddenly a cord prolapse in the second stage of labour.
Harden up, girl!
When I came out of the hall, I burst into tears. I cried and cried and cried..... and just couldn't stop. I had to abandon my sister and go home. I cried all the way home on the train and after six hours of solid weeping, collapsed into bed.
I think that was the most nerve-racking thing I have even done in my life. I would rather give birth than go through that midwifery viva again.
Do any of you 'old' midwives out there remember your viva? As for the rest of you, what is the most nerve-racking thing you have ever done?
Image: 'infant drama - _MG_9450' sean dreilinger