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to want to become a midwife?

(23 Posts)
OscarLove Sun 03-Jul-11 18:04:02

I am in a bastard no-hope job with witches for colleagues and come Sunday evening, I have a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. I can't see the woods for the trees with regards to work at the moment and i'm feeling a bit lost because I have nothing to look forward to (e.g. annual leave from work!) until August which I know is only a month away but it seems like forever!

My job doesn't pay that well neither so i'm constantly struggling for money. It seems i'm always at work too and it feels like I don't have enough time at home with my little family.

I've always wanted to be a midwife (or a vet, but not clever enough!) and I feel that now in my life would be perfect, but one problem is I have absolutely no money. I know that a big part of the degree is undertaken in placement, but do you get paid for the placement or are student midwives there unpaid? Also, if there are any midwives on this board, please tell me the best part of the job and the worst part of the job. Thanks smile

Vroomfondel Sun 03-Jul-11 18:05:52

1. you could get a student loan and maybe some sort of bursary, depending on where you are and how much your partner earns.

2. best bit = new baby feet

3. worst bit = shite hours and all the bollox entailed in working for the NHS

soverylucky Sun 03-Jul-11 18:07:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ImperialBlether Sun 03-Jul-11 18:09:07

Just a note of caution. I'm in a big city with a lot of hospitals. My neighbour trained as a midwife and couldn't get a job - she's now back in her original job, paying off her student loan.

Please, please check on job availability before you sign up. They will take you on the course even if there are no jobs afterwards.

You'd probably have to do an Access course beforehand, unless you have A levels including Human Biology. My college is stopping all Access courses now due to lack of government funding.

Sorry to put a dampener on this! It's just important to be realistic before you get into debt.

catgirl1976 Sun 03-Jul-11 18:09:08

Go to

this will help you calculate the financial help you could get. Well worth a look

Vroomfondel Sun 03-Jul-11 18:09:24

honestly - brand new baby feet outweigh all ^^that.

catgirl1976 Sun 03-Jul-11 18:10:52

oh - when you go to the site its the bursary calculator you are looking for. good luck!

OscarLove Sun 03-Jul-11 18:20:28

Aww, baby feeeet. I love little toes and tickling little feet. I will look into it all. Thanks for all of your great advice!

Nettee Sun 03-Jul-11 18:21:00

You can still have witches for colleagues but you do get 7 - 8 weeks annual leave a year to look forward to! You still won't feel like you get enough time at home with your family especially during the training. If you work full time it is very likely that you will be doing one in two weekends and the lates mean you don't see school aged children hardly at all on those days. You don't get paid to be a student - diploma students get a bursary and there are student loans.

Best part of the job - getting to know women and families going through such an important life change and being there for those first few moments after a birth - such a privilage. Feeling that you have made the experience good for them.

Worst part - nights, feeling powerless to help with labour pains, feeling totally responsible and scared that you might forget/not notice something important, feeling that you can't give the standard of care you want to because there are not enough staff. endless note writing to cover yourself when you would like to be spending that time supporting the woman.

really it is the best job in the world but I do have to keep telling myself that!

Cocoflower Sun 03-Jul-11 18:22:53

I used to want to do this. I used to read a board called Student midwife sanctuary. I might still exsist worth doing a google.

The students on there seemed so passionate about what they did.

I think it is VERY competitive to get in though. Also is it because you love babies? If so midwifery wouldnt be right.

OscarLove Sun 03-Jul-11 18:27:31

I do love babies, but I adored being pregnant with all 3 of mine, and all three births were amazing thanks to the lovely midwives and I would love be able to help new parents like they helped me.

Cocoflower Sun 03-Jul-11 18:30:42

Yes- you see I realised I was more intrested in the baby than mum so applied for childrens nursing.

Then ended up in primary teaching... anyway..!

I was a bit mistaken it would be very baby focused until the people on the midwife board said the actual baby is a very small part.

soverylucky Sun 03-Jul-11 18:40:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SeymoreButts Sun 03-Jul-11 18:40:50

The competition for university places is insane, more so now because the NHS pays the tuition fees on nursing and midwifery degrees. Admittedly I don't know if this is set to change. You will need some work experience in a health care setting, volunteering is fine, but most admissions tutors want to something long-termish. Also you will need academic study within the last 5 years. If you already meet the A level and GCSE requirements you might be able to do an OU course to meet the recent study requirement, but some universities ask for Biology A level specifically... so check each university's entrance criteria.

And no, you don't get paid for clinical placements during the degree, but you can apply for a bursary, and a student loan if this is your first degree.

But these are all hurdles that can be overcome if you really want to do it. Contact your nearest hospital and enquire about doing a work experience placement in the maternity unit, most MWs will be more than willing to offer advice and experiences if you make them a cuppa!

SeymoreButts Sun 03-Jul-11 18:42:47

All the advice you can ask for...

scottishmummy Sun 03-Jul-11 18:45:22

you need to be more realistic.not all widdly toes and gushy
clinically managing a caseload of adult women
shift working under pressure
knowledge of legislation and nhs policies
knowledge and understanding of health in pg
ability to work with diverse pt group and different languages cultures
community and hospital work

if you want widdly toes and cuddles go be a nursery nurse in baby room.not a midwife

go speak to practising mw and mw students

GypsyMoth Sun 03-Jul-11 18:59:05

What level of education are you up to already op?

And do you have reliable childcare for night shifts??

Good luck!

ImperialBlether Sun 03-Jul-11 19:47:02

I'm so glad you said that, scottishmummy.

It's ridiculous that the OP is told to ignore all sensible suggestions in favour of "thinking about the feet."

Vroomfondel Sun 03-Jul-11 20:38:34

but why? why are midwives not allowed to like babies? why are midwives not supposed to just enjoy being with women? why are midwives not allowed to like the good stuff? why does it have to be all about bloody boring NHS policy and working under pressure? sure that's part of it but it's not all of it.

ImperialBlether Sun 03-Jul-11 21:15:37

If you've had a child in hospital, Vroomfondel, think how long each midwife stayed and stroked your child's foot. Perhaps each child is stroked for a second?

scottishmummy Sun 03-Jul-11 21:19:45

targets,outcomes,ward round,call pharmacy,arrange transport,write up clinic notes.think you'll find widdle feet stroking isnt well quite the biggest demand.nor does it require 3yr at uni and cpd

healthcare is demanding and challenging job and reality is someone will lean on the mw about targets,policies,discharge and bed occupancy.thats the reality

widdle feetie stroking is the fantasy

Vroomfondel Sun 03-Jul-11 21:21:10

that was one example of a nice bit of midwifery.

rather that being so scathing and negative about someone's choice of career why not look at the good bits? Obviously there are difficult bits, there is endless paperwork, the hours are crap and the pay isn't that good but why should that outweigh the bits that are actually worth something? getting to know women and their families through the most amazing, brilliant time in their lives, actually enjoying what you do and delighting in being part of creating a whole new human?

scottishmummy Sun 03-Jul-11 21:32:24

its a good job no one is been scathing.just realistic
esp in current public sector climate
and anyone going into a vocational career needs to be grounded and understand the whole range.yes there is wee feeties but other stuff too

and pragmatically she needs to think about all of that
and plan her own childcare whilst at uni and on placement
if you really understand a job makes doing it more achievable.less burn out

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