07 June 2018 7:32 PM
What would you like to specialise in?
I want to experience as much as possible across the pregnancy continuum as a midwife. I love providing the time and care to help new parents in those first few days during their transition. I am also interested in continuity of care for complex pregnancies.
How did you find your last year of university?
The last year of my degree was incredibly hectic with assignments at every turn, writing applications for graduate positions and all extras to do as additional professional development (I highly recommend the BloodSafe eLearning obstetric program and clinical transfusion programs for example).
What was the highlight of your course?
In my final year I had an abstract accepted to present a poster at the Australian College of Midwives National Conference.
My poster focused on collaborative autonomy with midwives, doctors and patients to improve continuity and outcomes while reducing interventions in maternity care for families. I'm pleased it was voted the best of the selection - quite unexpected, especially as a student!
Being at the conference was like coming home, the days were a whirlwind of amazing midwives, many of whom I'd referenced in my essays. The experience helped give me that last push to finish my degree and qualify.
What has been the biggest learning curve you’ve experienced?
The biggest learning curve has been implementing what I learned and practised on placement into my everyday practice, such as time management and prioritising. I’ve gone from working under close guidance as a student to making decisions and planning care for multiple patients every shift.
Another challenge is being flexible enough to recognise nothing stays the same on a shift following handover, and your plan has to be flexible enough to shift with changing priorities.
What advice would you give to other students/future grads?
Take a patient load whenever you have the opportunity to do so. While this won't fully prepare you, it will give you an idea of what is expected.
Keep honing your time management skills. For example, as students while we complete documentation, there's a lot that we don't/can't sign off on that happens in the background of every patient's care. Doing all of this is more time consuming than I realised as a student and it impacts on my time management, despite the measures I'm putting in to make sure everything is done and covered. It's a work in progress and I'm getting there (and I'm reassured that those who've been midwives longer than me are still working on this - so it's an ongoing thing too).
Outside midwifery what are your passions?
Speculative fiction! Anything sci-fi or fantasy, I love to escape for a little while in a good book, movie, TV show or a video game. I prefer speculative fiction that is hopeful and explores making things better for people in other worlds, or for humanity in the future. I'll never get tired of imagining new possibilities and asking questions like 'what if?' and 'why not?' and this particular passion allows me to do so.
My favourite book I read in my final year was 'Musketeer Space' by Australian author Tansy Rayner Roberts, it's a gender-swapped space opera retelling of 'The Three Musketeers' and it's fluffy, outrageous, action-filled with the most awesome characters. It was exactly what I needed for stress relief in between exams and assignments and I highly recommend it!
What do you do to wind down?
Aside from my passion above, I also love cooking and I fancy myself to be fairly good at it. I love making three course meals to baking and everything in between, whatever strikes my fancy. Cooking is physical and helps me to wind down because I’m not thinking about midwifery, plus there's a delicious result at the end!
My other favourite indulgence to wind down is a long hot bath with a book and a glass of wine (or bubbles). I collect beautiful bath products and I use them liberally along with candles to really create a relaxing space for unwinding. It's particularly good after a really long week on my feet and it sets me up for my days off to really relax and enjoy them, leaving work behind.
Jaunita Landéesse studied nursing at Victoria University and is completing her graduate program at Mercy Hospital. We’d love to profile you in the next edition! Email us your contact details.