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Casey Barnes and Nicola Tracy

BSc (Hons) Midwifery

Midwifery students Casey Barnes and Nicola Tracy

Casey Barnes: Meeting new people at an extremely exciting time in their lives is so rewarding. It’s such a privilege to be a part of these precious moments, being trusted to play a vital role in their childbirth moments.

Casey Barnes (left) and Nicola Tracy (right) began their course together and have become good friends, supporting each other as they work towards qualification as professional midwives.

Casey Barnes (CB): Being a midwife is part of me, who I am. I cannot imagine doing anything else now. My nursing career was inspired by my own birth experiences. I received amazing care from my midwives while pregnant. I want to be able to provide the same level of care and support to women, birthing people and their families. It’s such a fulfilling and rewarding role. It’s about being able to empower and support in the transition to motherhood.

Nicola Tracy (NT): I was long haul cabin crew for 18 years. I always thoroughly enjoyed the medical element of our crew training. Whenever there was a medical situation onboard I was always the crew member wanting to provide that care. Alongside that, I enjoy building relationships with people from all walks of life and giving them a unique experience to walk away. I knew I belonged in health care.

CB: Meeting new people at an extremely exciting time in their lives is so rewarding. It’s such a privilege to be a part of these precious moments, being trusted to play a vital role in their childbirth moments.

NT: Midwifery was always something that fascinated me. Not just delivering babies, but also the range of specific care that’s involved, the day-to-day elements of midwifery we don’t always think about. With my cabin crew experience I knew I’d be able to provide that care and advocate for people at a vulnerable moment in their life.

NT: Edge Hill made me feel like I was home – I felt safe. When I stepped on to campus at the open day my nerves just evaporated. I think that’s a huge thing to feel when starting your learning journey.

CB: It’s been over 20 years since I attended school. I’ve found the academic side of the course most challenging. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my placement, especially in community.

NT: I hope to secure a job as a midwife and specialise in bereavement. The degree prepared me for placement. It’s given me the foundations I need to practice as a student midwife, and the skills and knowledge I need to progress into employment.

CB: I feel more enlightened in midwifery after my placements. I completed my first-year placement in Wigan Trust in both community and delivery. I learnt clinical skills, such as taking blood pressure, venipuncture, urinalysis, palpations [the process of examination using hands] on a woman’s stomach, and listening to fetal heart rates.

NT: My lecturers are so supportive. They share their knowledge not only through teaching but with stories of their own practice, tying together what we study.

CB: My head of year has been amazing. She has excellent subject knowledge, patience, compassion, and enthusiasm – we’ve learnt so much from her. No matter the problem or issue, she’s always been available for advice and guidance.

NT: The Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre (CSSC) brings my studies to life. I really enjoy skill sessions in the CSSC, putting the theory into practice. This gives me the confidence to take it out into practice placements.

CB: The facilities are exceptionally good at Edge Hill. It’s a very welcoming environment. I found the Catalyst [library and student support building] so helpful during my studies for all the services available. Everyone on campus is so friendly, students and staff.

NT: The Catalyst building is fantastic for academic support. Sourcing books to help with studies and developing knowledge, simple things like being able to book a room to study in. They provide financial advice too, and know what you’re entitled to during your studies.

CB: My advice to new starters? Enjoy every minute of it. I’m a 2nd year already – I cannot believe how quick my first year has gone. Ask questions, there are no silly questions. Take advantage of all the services that the Catalyst has to offer.

NT: And try to stay organised. Have study days with peers to share knowledge and ideas, and make use of all the services provided, especially in the Catalyst building, so much more than just a library.

Edge Hill University: educating our health professionals since 1994.