Student nurse Helen Farmer encounters an emergency situation, reinforcing her need for insight into other fields of practice.
Some of the ‘student chat’ within my adult nursing cohort surrounds the topic of European Union (EU) Directives.
EU directives are essentially overviews of the other fields of practice including child health, learning disability, mental health and maternity. Through my observations, many of my colleagues have found EU directives to be a burden of additional work to an already overflowing course of nurse education. I have also felt this burden, but with a sense that it is necessary.
This week on my women’s health placement, I experienced a situation that made me embrace the EU directives and wondered if students need insight into them at a practical level?
I sought to further my exposure into the maternity EU directive by spending a weekend on ‘Delivery Suite’. I was privileged to attend a caesarean section and witness in amazement, a new life come into the world! The following day, a lady delivered her baby in an emergency situation at 22 weeks gestation; the baby did not survive. The mother appeared traumatised and was dealing with ongoing mental health problems and her regular medication regime for schizophrenia had been amended to prevent the risk of foetal abnormality. Initially, the lady would not consent to surgery to remove the retained placenta and her paranoia made her feel distrust in anyone with her. Here, a skills-mix containing the maternity team, adult nurses from theatre and mental health team needed to co-ordinate quickly to help this lady through such an event.
On such an emotional day, I began to strongly appreciate other disciplines and value their skills and knowledge much more than I had before. The experience also stressed the value of the EU directives.
After attending to the lady, her tiny baby and the family, we all had a tear in our eyes and in turn, needed a moment to collect ourselves. We supported each other with caring moments, a touch on the shoulder and little glances. We all knew we were looking out for each other. We not only worked as a team for the lady and her baby, but we worked for and supported each other too - multi-disciplinary teamwork at its best. I was proud to have been a part of it - not only because I got to support patients, but also my colleagues, all from different disciplines.
Helen Farmer is a student nurse at University of Worcester, currently on placement on a Women’s Health Unit.