Student Resources (Bonus: An Exam Prep Template for Boards!)

Hello hello!

I had a crazy week of work and a little car crash that took over my life – all is good, everyone is safe/healthy, and we’re back on track to share some goodies this next week.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. But one thing that keeps surfacing to the top is how to help midwife students. Midwifery training is intense. I feel like I had to learn a lot on my own: time management, sleep deprivation, and a constant firehose of information while you are trying to learn a difficult skill (and constantly thinking that everything you are doing is wrong).

So I thought I would offer up a recap of all the posts I’ve done on how to be successful as a student. I keep a running list of these on the MAKE MORE MIDWIVES page, but I think they get lost in the shuffle.

These are just my opinions. But goodness, I feel like I learned it all the hard way. So if it’s helpful to you, let me know. And if you have other helpful tips, please share! (Also, all the Alaska prettiness is making me miss the state like crazy! I know it’s bitterly cold there but the beauty cannot be beat.)

How to prepare for midwifery school!

This post is as basic as it comes. Think you want to be a midwife? Here are 10 goals and actions to work towards. Even re-reading these, they are as solid as a start can get. Networking, expectations, resume and reading – I cover it all!

9 tips for success in school

Print this one out and put it on your fridge. I remember some of these tips were brought up by the program directors in my Masters and Doctorate programs. A list would have been helpful. These are still the same books I recommend over and over for time management as well!

11 tips on how to prepare for midwifery clinics

The best advice is the first tip: expect hard work. I also think there are some good tips about feedback. Feedback is something inherent in birth work. You either learn it or you don’t. If you don’t, you’ll find that you are on sinking ships more than you would like.

5 tips to snag a preceptor for clinicals!

This post came from an unexpected place – the ACNM forums. I would get email after email from students needing placement and their basic grammar, request or contact information was poorly put together. One of the biggest barriers to making more midwives is getting students preceptors. Make it easier on yourself and everyone else – put a good request out there! You never know who is going to read it or who it is going to get send too! (Side note: I send student requests out a half a dozen times a year to midwives I know across the country. Don’t discount networking – ever!).

How to recover from a 24 hour shift

This post wasn’t written for students, but it should have been. I worked 24 hour shifts by default in midwifery school. I would go to school all day and then I would go to work all night on the night shift as a RN. It was tiring. I learned everything the hard way. And thank goodness I had some time to sleep the next day. These tips would have been helpful.

What to do between graduation and your first job?

This post went live right before the pandemic. I heard of more and more students in the past year that have been stuck in a holding pattern after clinicals or graduation from midwifery school than I ever have before. I love the graduation gift ideas. I stand by the recommendations for reading, resume building, and binders. None of it will steer you wrong.

4 tips on how to prep for clinic

The last and most recent post – how to prep for clinic. This is a great exercise for a student to do in clinic (but it’s also one I continue to use almost every day in clinic). For all my midwifery students, I offer a challenge for them by the end of their clinicals. They should be able to see every patient in the clinic and chart on every patient before leaving clinic that day. It’s not a matter of if they can do it – they can. I wouldn’t sign off on competencies if they weren’t capable. I do it because it is an eye opener for them on the difficulty of managing each aspect of the patient’s care across every patient on the schedule.

To me, clinic and protracted labors are the hardest things to manage as a new grad. But in both, you have to keep going (just keep swimming, just keep swimming…).

And lastly!!! I found this exam prep schedule from 2014 that I had made during the month I studied for boards. My Varney’s was the 5th edition and I only used Varney’s and the green book to study. I figured I would post it as a template for anyone looking for something similar – and so you don’t have to recreate your own.

Download it on the TOOLS & HANDOUTS page!

While you’re there, you can download the license and certification tool or anything else that might help you to be more organized or efficient.

I hope all this helps anyone on the road behind me. One person at a time helps to make more midwives. Good luck on your journey wherever you may be!



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