Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Facilities in the midwifery skills lab


Faculty: Health, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Midwifery
Category: Nursing and midwifery

11 April 2022

Midwifery is a very skilful profession, requiring us to determine the well-being of both mum and baby through these skills. In ARU, we are lucky to have extremely realistic props and equipment to prepare us best for placement.

In this blog I am going to talk through some of the facilities available to us as student midwives.

Venepuncture arm

A prosthetic venepuncture arm from the Midwifery Skills Lab

Venepuncture is a skill midwives must have in order to take blood and have IV access for drug administration.

These realistic arms have veins running throughout to allow us to grasp the basics such as finding the right vein, holding the needle and the angle we pierce the skin at.

The arm also allows you to actually draw blood (spoiler: it's food-coloured water), allowing you to know if you’re in the correct space to pass a cannula or take blood.

Abdominal palpation models

An abdominal palpation model from the Midwifery Skills Lab

A skill commonly used in the antenatal period is abdominal palpation. We do this to determine baby’s position, measure baby and to auscultate baby’s heartbeat.

These models allow us to practise the technique of palpation and the location of where to palpate. It also allows us to understand the physiology of the baby’s lie as we can reveal the baby beneath the model.

The models also have a special feature: when you auscultate for baby’s heartbeat, you can actually hear one!

Birthing torso

A big part of being a student midwife is learning the mechanism of birth and assist the birth of baby.

Here at ARU, we have models that allow us to practise delivering baby and placenta. These models are extremely realistic, allowing us to practice prior to placement in a non- clinical setting and ask all our relevant questions.

We have been quite lucky to use these models quite regularly in our second year to practise our obstetric emergencies.

Neonatal resuscitaire

A neonatal resuscitaire from the Midwifery Skills Lab

Sometimes in practice, it could be necessary to perform neonatal resuscitation to help baby breathe for the first time.

At ARU, there are two resuscitaires in the skills lab. These allow us to make ourselves familiar with the layout of the device and to learn the process of resuscitation using the correct equipment. This helps us build our confidence going out to practice, as we feel familiar with our surroundings.

Neonatal resuscitation is part of the emergencies module, which you will complete in your second year.

At ARU, we are lucky to have these facilities in our skills labs which prepare us as best as possible for placement. Our lectures are fantastic for explaining the correct process of using the facilities, building our confidence for practice.

Casey studies BSc (Hons) Midwifery at ARU in Cambridge. We also train midwives in Chelmsford and Peterborough. Find out more about Midwifery, and other degree courses, at one of our Open Days.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.