My guest post today comes from Kate at My Family Fever. I am full of admiration for anyone who trains to be a midwife – something that Kate has being doing for a little while now and it has been a pleasure to follow her journey. With the fact that Grace has been watching ‘One Born Every Minute’ me and our own baby journey, Grace has decided that, for now, she would like to become a midwife. Kate has kindly shared her tips with us below.
As some of you will know, this September I head off to university to start my new career as a student midwife. I know this is a field a lot of people are interested in, so here is my step by step guide to becoming a midwife:
• First things first, decide on which universities you are interested in studying at.
Midwifery is a 3 year degree, so you need to be somewhere you can easily travel to, and where you feel comfortable. Try to go along to some open days to get a feel for the place. Check the uni websites for entry requirements.
• Get the grades.
Most universities require either A levels or an Access course, gained within the last 3 years. I did an Access course, which is a level 3 study. These are offered at local colleges or as an online course. Most universities will also require you to hold 5 GCSE’s at C and above, so if you don’t have those, you may need to retake.
• Try and get some experience.
This doesn’t have to be related to maternity, although if you get the chance to work on the hospital wards, then that’s great! It’s all about transferable skills – so anything that demonstrates communication, compassion, care, confidence, courage and commitment – the 6 C’s of midwifery! This can be from anything – working in Tesco requires communication skills. Volunteering in a care home requires care ad compassion.
• Apply to uni.
This is done via UCAS, where you fill in a form detailing all your personal information, your qualifications and experience and the universities you wish to apply to. You will also need to write a personal statement, tailored to midwifery. Talk about the course, how your experience relates to the role and what midwifery means to you. There is a great personal statement school specifically for midwifery students, which is really helpful (https://midwifediaries.com/about-personal-statement-school/)
• If the universities like your application, you will be invited for interview.
This usually consists of a maths and English test before a formal interview, although this does vary in some establishments. Brush up on your maths and English skills before you go (this is a great website to use https://snap-services.org/) and go prepared – read through your personal statement again, remember why you want to be a midwife, and what the role entails. Think about how you will cope with the demands of the course – your time will be divided between uni lectures and full time shift work on placement. Remember, you have been invited for interview, which means they already believe you have what it takes! They don’t want you to fail – they want you to do well. Try and relax, and remember why you are doing this.
• Following interview, you will either be offered a place, rejected or placed on a reserve list.
Offers can be immediate, or several months after interview, so please don’t panic if you don’t hear anything right away. Also try to remember that midwifery is an incredibly competitive course, and it can take many application cycles before you gain a place. Don’t give up!
• Once you hold a uni place, you will be given a start date, and off you go!
You will need to pass a DBS check and an occupational health screening before you start. Your first few weeks/months will be spent attending uni lectures, then you will be off to your first hospital placement. You will spend time on labour ward, postnatal and antenatal wards and out in the community, shadowing your mentor and their shifts. You may also be required to be on call for home births. Be prepared for long hours and hard work!
Once you have completed your 3 years of university and placement, and passed the required exams and standards, you will be a qualified midwife! I can’t wait to get started. It’s such a privilege to be able to work with people at such an important time in their lives.
About the Author:
Kate at My Family Fever lives in Devon with her husband their 4 children. She started her blog as an online journal, and place to record photos, stories and memories for their children, to look back on as they grow and develop. It has also turned into a place where she can share experiences, learn from others and make new friends. You can also find Kate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.