I was quite a shy person before I came to university but I’ve really come out of my shell. I almost don’t recognise myself.
I knew I wanted a career in healthcare, but nursing didn’t really appeal to me. As a Healthcare Assistant, I’d provided personal care on a variety of medical wards and I loved building up relationships with the clients. This is what appealed to me about midwifery, the relationship building and continuity of care.
I had a difficult time during my own experience of giving birth and my midwife was amazing. She advocated for me when I couldn’t do it myself and treated me with compassion and respect. I wanted to be the midwife I’d had, and I knew then that midwifery was definitely the right path for me.
Midwifery is all about building relationships and trust with women and their families, and during the course you get a lot of opportunities to practice those skills. As well as placements at a range of different Trusts, we each have three real cases that we follow from early pregnancy through to delivery and postnatal care. We go to all appointments and are involved in all aspects of care. It’s very practical and hands-on, and gives you a real taste of what it’s like to handle your own caseload.
One thing that has surprised me is the responsibility of the job. I knew it was an autonomous role, but you need to have a lot of management skills and a good understanding of multi-disciplinary working. The good thing is that on placements you can ask to shadow another role to increase your knowledge and experience. I’ve spent time with professionals in a breastfeeding support group and with a paediatric doctor to see how their roles fit in with the midwifery role.
Covid-19 changed everything, of course, but in a way it has expanded our learning. We couldn’t go to lectures or practicals on campus but we were employed by local Trusts to give additional support to midwives during the pandemic. That was an unexpected opportunity that most students don’t get. I’ve now had experience of delivering babies in the most extreme conditions. I’ve delivered 14 babies to date and they’ve all been boys. I can’t wait to deliver my first girl!