Midwife essentials for your first agency shift

As you know, babies can come any time of the day or night – they don’t adhere to anyone’s schedule. When working with an agency, you’ll need to be prepared with the right midwife essentials at all times. That way, you’ll be ready to get up and go if and when you’re needed for a last-minute shift.

If you’re starting agency work for the first time, we have put together a list of agency midwife essentials that we typically recommend so that you feel well-prepared for your shift.

What are the top 10 midwife essentials for your first agency shift?

  1. Fob watch with a second-hand
  2. Gestation wheel
  3. Healthy snacks
  4. ID card and uniform
  5. Notebook
  6. Reusable water bottle
  7. Scissors
  8. Shoes that are comfortable and supportive
  9. Spare hair ties
  10. Wash bag

1. Fob watch with a second-hand

This midwife essential is convenient and always accessible, enabling you to time things quickly and easily such as the baby’s heart rate. They are also the most hygienic option and are ideal for work as you can’t have a wristwatch or keep using your phone in a busy maternity department.

Try to find one that is simple with a silicone surround, so that it’s easy to keep clean. We’d also recommend choosing a fob watch that glows in the dark and that has the date on it too.

2. Gestation wheel or pregnancy disc

Carrying a pocket-sized gestation calculator means it’s always on hand to help you calculate when a baby is due. It uses the date of the last menstrual period to determine the estimated birth.

3. Healthy snacks

Healthy snacks are another midwife essential that will keep your energy levels up during a shift and help you stay awake at quieter times – bananas, mixed nuts, yoghurt, apples, dried apricots, tomatoes, and hummus can be great options. It’s also worth checking whether the maternity department you are working in has a microwave so you can take in more substantial pre-prepared meals.

4. ID card and uniform

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s so easy to forget these items when you’re in a rush. Your agency ID card will be essential for you to gain access to a client’s facility, and you will also need to bring your agency uniform with you to change into. For Thornbury midwives, it is essential to carry your TNS staff card and wear your Thornbury-branded tunic for every shift.

Interested in joining us?

Find out more about what is needed to join us. Browse the specialisms that we’re currently recruiting for at Thornbury.

5. Notebook (and a pen that works)

You won’t be able to keep getting your phone out, so although it sounds old-fashioned, a notebook is a must-have that always makes an appearance on midwife essentials lists. It’ll make it quick and easy to jot down critical information such as people’s names, door codes or phone numbers.

We’d also suggest having more than one pen, as they are very easy to misplace. Buy in bulk and take a handful with you on each shift. We’d recommend taking both black and red pens, as documentation requirements can change depending on the hospital you are working in.

6. Reusable water bottle

Make sure you drink enough by bringing a big reusable bottle from home with you. Drinking plenty of water can help you stay alert while working a night shift. And staying hydrated is essential for your health. The NHS Eatwell Guide recommends drinking 6-8 cups or glasses of fluid daily.

7. Scissors

Of course, there may be plenty of scissors around the ward. But it’s surprising how often a small pair of scissors can come in handy.

8. Shoes that are comfortable and supportive

There’s nothing worse than standing for hours in shoes that aren’t comfortable, so investing in a few good pairs is an absolute midwife essential. It’s also a great idea to get shoes that you can wear when you’re in the theatre, to save time changing them over.

We recommend taking two pairs of shoes with you on a shift. As the cushioning in your shoes will become compressed after you’ve spent hours on your feet, you can then swap them to keep you comfortable and your feet protected.

The best shoes for midwives will be lightweight, supportive, cushioned and offer good arch support. They should also protect your feet from spillages, be easy to take on and off and have a good tread pattern to prevent you from slips.

Find out more about our shoe recommendations for nurses and midwives.

9. Spare hair ties

It’s one more thing to take with you but losing your hair tie is a real nuisance if you have long hair. So, it’s worth packing a few spares in your bag, just in case.

10. Wash bag

It can help to take some personal items with you so you can freshen up when you feel tired, especially during a night shift. When packing your midwife essentials, you might want to include items such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, face and hand cream, hairbrush and body spray.

Are you interested in working as an agency midwife with Thornbury Nursing?

Here at Thornbury Nursing, we pay exceptional agency rates to midwives who join our team. We also pay NMC fees and cover mileage costs. Discover our hourly pay rates and learn more about what we can offer.

New midwifery opportunities with Thornbury become available almost every day. We recruit midwives for temporary, last-minute placements in NHS and private hospitals, as well as specialist community settings across England and Wales.

Want to become an agency nurse with Thornbury Nursing? Register now

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We are looking for exceptional nurses and midwives to join our team. Register with Thornbury to access high rates of pay, paid mileage and support with revalidation.

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