Just wondered if anyone could give me some advice about training to become a midwife.
I have already got a degree and only graduated in 2011 however I chose this subject when I was 18 and defered it for a few years am now 25 and have no interest in a career relevent to the subject I studied. I do however have interest in training to become a midwife and have applied to volunteer at a hospital not too far from here. I have a a group interview in a couple of weeks, which I am very excited about!
I was wondering what the chances are of me getting accepted onto a Midwifery Course as I know the course is in very high demand. Would me already having a degree go against me? I have A-C in Maths in English but only got a D in Science, some of the universities require C+ in Science, would I need to resit this or is this only for School leavers? Would volunteering on a maternity ward give me enough experience to get on a course with no other healthcare training?
I'm also thinking is it even worth applying as I have no family near me and husband works as a chef doing very long hours, I already have 1 dc (16 months) and have just found out I will be expecting another baby in September. Do you get help with childcare etc? And does anyone know if you have to work a lot of nights in training and how many hours of practical work a week do you have to do compared to academic work?
It's very very very hard studying midwifery when you have small children. It can be done, but you need someone there who can do childcare when you have long shifts and nightshifts. You might get away with doing 8 hr shifts and days during the first year, but from the second year onwards you will have to do 12.5 hour shifts, days and nights. If your DH is a chef and you don't have family nearby, that's going to be very hard indeed. Also, once you've qualified the situation remains the same - you have to do your 'years at the coalface' and do your rotations through labour ward, post natal etc, before you move into the job with more family-friendly hours that you (and all the other midwives with children) dream of.
I know I'm sounding negative, and I also know that if you are set on training to be a midwife then you'll take no notice of me whatsoever. It depends on how much time you want to send with your children, really, and how much they are going to need you around over the next few years. Have a look on a few forums if you haven't done so already... studentmidwivessanctuary.com/ www.studentmidwife.net/midwifery/
I'm happy to talk to you more about this if you want, but you might not want to hear my take on it. I'm sure there'll be other people along who'll be more encouraging.
Thank you for your advice I have taken it onboard, I am still interested in the course but wondering whether or not to leave it a couple of years.
Can I ask you a few more questions? I will probably attend an open day at some of the unis so no worries if you've not got the answers.
Most of the courses state 37.5 hours a week, so would that be a mixture of an academic timetable and practical timetable in the one week or would you do say a few weeks at uni then a few weeks on a placement? Also, if you're on a placement and you're given 12 hour shifts would you only be given 37.5 hours a week of 12 hour shifts or would you get more? How long do typical placements last? I'm just trying to work out whether it is doable (sp). Husband is being very encouraging and his shifts are very flexible so could technically work around mine although I know this would be very hardwork and I would need to be extremely dedicated. I've also read that once youre qualified you can do 2 years full-time then go part-time, is this true?
Hi Thorn, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply, I didn't have a chunk of time free until now. I've got a dodgy keyboard, btw, so watch out for missing 'p's!
The pattern of classes vs clinical time varies enormously according to where you study. I was at Kings College London and we had set hours of lectures for a couple of days a week, and the other days were for placements. But another uni I applied to did it in chunks instead - they'd have 5 or 6 weeks of academic stuff, then a 5 or 6 week block of clinical practice. Both have their advantages I think. My experience is out of date now, because I was the final year of the diploma option - we all started off on the diploma course, which got a small maintenance grant and then we had the option of 'fast tracking' to the degree course, most of which we could do still on the grant. UCAS squashed that though, and forced the unis to make it degree only, so that you don't get a grant and have to borrow loans to fund yourself. I don't know what the current childcare funding situation is, for that reason.
Basically the way they structure lectures vs clinical, how many nights you have to do in each year, how many on calls, how many long shifts etc varies hugely from uni to uni - your best bet would probably be to get on the forums and try to get current info from student MWs at the unis you're interested in. Sorry I can't be more help! We didn't have to do nights or longs at all in the 1st year, although some people chose to do so. I was incredibly lucky with my community placement and got a fantastic caseloading team - they do loads of on-call though, which is really tricky to arrange childcare for. How would you arrange childcare cover for a night on call (for which you only clock up hours IF you get called) and which might involve you a) not getting called at all b) getting called just at the end of your on-call period and then you want to stay there and catch the baby but it's almost 6.30am and you know you have to be home for 7am so your DH can go to work etc etc. It is tough, there's no denying it.
BUT, if when you catch that baby your whole world lights up and all the sleeplessness and juggling and your kids not seeing enough of you and your DH picking up the slack and the toll night shifts take on your body and the awful litigious nature of our modern NHS and the chronic underfunding and understaffing of our maternity service etc etc etc don't matter any more and you just feel joyous at helping a woman at the most vulnerable point in her life, and bringing new life into the world... well then maybe it will all be worth it.
Oh, and there are part-time positions out there, certainly, but there are an awful lot of midwives after them!
I don't mean to be negative, just realistic. I've just spent the weekend with a woman from my course who is now a MW with a few years experience, and she hates the shifts but LOVES the job. I know quite a lot of MWs, and they all muddle through and enjoy what they do. Honestly, yes I'd leave it a couple of years and be there for your babies. On the other hand, on my course there was one woman who'd been a MSW and was seconded to train as a MW - she had a baby a month before starting the course (but had an incredibly supportive mum and DH to do childcare), and a woman with 5 sons ranging in age from 18 months to 18 years who had another baby just after she qualified (with an incredibly supportive DH but no other family support). Both of them went on to become successful and dedicated MWs.
It is possible, but you have to really really want it, and be prepared to sacrifice an awful lot to get it.
Hello - Sorry, I've only just seen this it dropped off my list. I think perhaps I will apply to volunteer on some of the local maternity wards for a little while and see how I go, then take it from there.