Inspiring Mentors

Your mentor is your gateway to knowledge.

Ask them questions, generally at the beginning they know that you don’t know anything and are happy to explain stuff. Generally it’s not a good idea to ask questions about a woman’s care in front of her.  If you’re in community, in the car is a good time to discuss things you want to know more about. But also remember, you are supposed to look things up and research issues that arise, so don’t be lazy and expect your mentor to answer every tiny thing that pops into your mind, write a list and look in your midwifery textbook, or your skills handbook. Then if this raises further questions in your mind, that’s a good time to raise it with your mentor, as in “I was reading about x last night, and I wondered how that fits in with y,” or “After we saw that lady who had x the other day, I looked it up, and it said she might have problems with y, is that something that’s likely to happen?”

Mentors love it when you look stuff up, and if you ask lots of questions without doing your own research, her default response will become “that’s a really good question, why don’t you go home tonight and look that up, and when you come in tomorrow you can tell me what you found out.”

You’ll probably get the chance to work with other midwives besides your mentor. Observe closely, as this is a great opportunity to see how their practice is different, as you will need to decide yourself how you want to practice after you qualify. You will probably find you take bits and pieces from every mentor you work with, in terms of how they talk to the women, how they explain particular interventions, how they obtain consent, how they go about a vaginal exam, how they record their actions in the notes.

You will bring your own personality to your practice, beyond that, you choose how to work with women.  You will never forget the mentors who inspire you, you will take them with you as you travel on your journey to become a midwife.

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