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to jack it all in and become a midwife?

(55 Posts)
Khaleasy Mon 22-Jul-13 15:42:15

I'm 21 (22 next week, if that makes a difference grin) and I don't have a set career path.
Very jealous of my bf who has done a degree in Marine Biology, a masters in Marine Biology and is now a...Marine Biologist. She has always wanted this and I am envious of her certainty.
I've always been interested in Midwifery and think i would enjoy it and be good at it; but never considered it as a career choice because - rather stupidly - I hadn't researched the options as someone told me you have to be a nurse first (not true).
I'm currently doing a very slow part time degree in psychology with the OU with the vague view of going into counselling but have no real passion behind it.
As a trainee midwife though I would have to train for three years on a very small grant (about £5,000-£6000 a year) to then be on a starting salary of £22,000. My salary in my current role is £21,000 (Qualifications Admin) though I'm not really interested in admin.
AIBU to seriously consider going back to being a poor student for 3 years (I live with OH and a dog) to persue midwifery?

LookingForwardToMarch Mon 22-Jul-13 15:44:09

There a LOT of competition for places.

In the access course I'm doing I would say about 60% of the women are going into midwifery.

But if it is what you want to do then go for it!

ViviPru Mon 22-Jul-13 15:47:46

If you have a genuine passion for it, then do it. Its competitive yes, but so are all the rewarding jobs and someone has to be in that successful percentage, why not you?

So patronising I know, but you're only young, before I read your OP I imagined from the thread title that you were considering a late-in-life career change. You've got everything ahead of you.

Khaleasy Mon 22-Jul-13 15:49:21

Seriously, patronise away! I need to remember that if I make the wrong choices now it won't be too late to change them! smile

Beveridge Mon 22-Jul-13 15:50:18

Do it. Life is not a dress rehearsal. 3 years of living on beans is nothing. 40 years is along time to be doing something you don't feel passionate about.

I imagine your studies so far will be helpful in supporting your application, maybe try and arrange some voluntary work/observation type activities to help you say the right things in the selection interviews (and make sure that mw is what you hope it will be!). Good luck!

newestbridearound Mon 22-Jul-13 15:56:34

Go for it smile . I'm 25 and currently bed bound, I wish I'd done a different course at uni and gone off and done some travelling before this happened because I thought I'd have the time to in the future. At some point I probably still will, but it's been 2 years and not coming any time soon! Do what makes you happy, you don't know what life is going to throw at you and there's no point sticking at something you feel a bit blah about when you could do something you have a real enjoyment and passion for. Obviously it will be competitive and from a practical point you need to do the sums etc and check it will work out, but if it does then I'd grab it with both hands. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Wowserz129 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:04:15

From my experience of the university I went too most people train to be nurses first and then midwives. That is simply because there is very very limited places to go straight onto midwifery. Basically 300 places for children's/adults/MH nurses and 40 for midwives.

I would say its something you want to do to do some voluntary work in relevant areas to build up points for your application. The chances of you getting in if you just have a admin background compared too some people with relevant experience are slim because its so competitive. More importantly to see if you like the care sector because it is long hours, patients being rude and demanding and for not a huge amount of money. Of course there is plus points too but I wouldn't jack it all in without looking at these things.

If its what you really want though and are prepared to work for it then I would get some experience in the care sector and then go for it.

TweenageAngst Mon 22-Jul-13 16:04:34

Get your psychology degree- then do graduate entry midwifery (2 years instead of 3) You will also have the qualification to help you become an obstetric counsellor

oscarwilde Mon 22-Jul-13 16:04:48

Go for it. Be practical though and actually do some research. What happens when you are married (lets assume to your current DP), have kids and have to work shifts in a job that you can't call in sick for. well you can but I would think the guilt would be pretty horrible

Weigh up all the pros and cons and if you are still really keen then go for it, just don't flannel around, apply and take up a place that could go to someone else if you are ambivalent about it.

FatalFlowerGarden Mon 22-Jul-13 16:50:24

Actually there are even fewer places on courses for nurses-who-want-to-become-midwives, so I would strongly advise against this route unless you think you'll enjoy three years of nurse training beforehand. Dual registration is very useful but nurse training is definitely not a route into midwifery. If you want to be a midwife, apply for a midwifery course.

I should also point out that there is no such thing as a 2-year graduate shortened route into midwifery. You do a three year direct-entry degree, or you train as a nurse and do an 18-month conversion.

You are young - go for it. It's a tough course and very competitive but someone has to get those places. Get some healthcare experience if you can. Make sure you understand what midwifery really involves - you'd be amazed how many applicants don't understand they'll have to work shifts in their training etc!

Get your psychology degree- then do graduate entry midwifery (2 years instead of 3) You will also have the qualification to help you become an obstetric counsellor this seems like excellent advice, can you do your degree any quicker? or is it dependant on your job too. will DH support you (emotionally and financially) while you train, have you considered all the downsides too, unsocial hours etc, particularly if having a family is something you are planning.

Khaleasy Mon 22-Jul-13 17:05:54

I have been a Nanny for the last two years, mainly babies, plus a few years of admin experience - the Nannying probably won't count for much but it is care experience.
I wouldn't want to be a nurse. At all!

I'm under the impression that Midwifes do 37.5 hour weeks on shifts (from my online research) which compared to my 60 week nannying things would be a blessing!

Khaleasy Mon 22-Jul-13 17:06:51

can you do your degree any quicker? - I could but I wouldn't do as well. I love psychology but I'm not really enjoying my degree.

CoolWaterRose Mon 22-Jul-13 17:15:32

Definitely go for it, but please don't underestimate the competition. It is really, really tough to get a midwifery place, a lot of people try for 2 or more years before they get in. But if it is what you want and you're passionate about it (and you do your research), there's no reason why one of those limited places can't go to you!

I've just done something similar but to go into nursing, handing in my notice at work next month! Terrified but excited. smile

Oh yes, and please don't train as nurse hoping to become a midwife later! The 18 month courses are like gold dust now. 3 year direct entry is your best bet.

AtYourCervix Mon 22-Jul-13 17:17:08

Do it. Best job in the world.

Finish the psychology degree first. Get some relevant experience (volunteer or support worker in hospital). Read Everything.

Accept you'll be very poor and frazzled while studenting and quite poor and frazzled when working.

Do it.

HarderToKidnap Mon 22-Jul-13 17:26:54

There isn't a graduate entry short course for midwives, the training will be 3 years with or without another degree.

How much have you looked in to entry reqs etc at your local uni? You'll need recent study, a half finished degree may actually count against you in that respect but possibly your a levels are are relatively recent. People will be applying soon for next sep 2014 intake, you have some time now to try and get some relevant experience. Nannying is good, could you get something more related to mums? HCA work at your local hospital is excellent, in fact every year they second some of our MSWs to the midwifery degree, this could be another route in for you if you can get an MSW job. Volunteering at postnatal groups, home start volunteer would both be good. Good luck x

Peartreepeartree Mon 22-Jul-13 17:26:58

Midwifery is a fantastic career. (I know, I qualified at the age of 21).

I think the university's are looking for younger midwives as they get thier money's worth for the nhs. I had no real experience in any relevant areas but got a place first time round.

They are looking for the right sort of person, experience is not always needed. No need to worry about an access course, they don't seem to give you any extra advantage in the application process.

However, I do think it would give you some great options to finish your degree first though. Iit would look great from an applications point of view. However if you are bright, enthusiastic and aware of the current issues in midwifery you will be just fine!

The salary does get better. Once established in your career you earn between 30-40k.

sagfold Mon 22-Jul-13 17:27:28

I did something similar. Got a degree, got a job I hated, was very inhappy. Was always interested in nursing. My dad got me an appt with the careers advisor in his college. I told him what job I had, he was impressed said the reputation of the graduate scheme I was on was excellent. I said I hated it. We talked, I filled out questionairre, he told me to go home and write my resignation letter. I will forever be grateful to him. I did just that and have been nursing for nearly 20 years (and met my dh through it). Best thing I ever did.

HarderToKidnap Mon 22-Jul-13 17:31:21

I agree with finishing your degree. You'll be up against some very stiff competition, and most of these candidates will be very focused and determined and will have had their eyes on the prize for a long time. Jacking in one degree to start a midwifery course could come across a bit as shilly shallying, fluttering around thinking midwifery must be really nice cos you get to cuddle lots of ickle baybeez. Which NEVER goes down well with the admissions people! Finishing your degree will make you much more attractive.

sagfold Mon 22-Jul-13 17:32:34

Disclaimer: I had spent years as a student working in residential homes for the elderly, so had some relevant experience and knew I would like the work.

Also, I find my job very interesting and challenging see/learn something new every day (critical care nurse).

Also, out of interest I have always regretted not doing a psychology degree!

MrsPatrickDempsey Mon 22-Jul-13 17:35:07

I have just given up midwifery after 17 years. Well, I say given up: I am commencing health visitor training in sept and will continue to do the odd shift as a midwife.

I think you need to be really clear what it is about the job that attracts you. Many people assume midwifery is wonderful because of all the babies - it is a tiny part of the job. People assume its wonderful because you deliver babies. Yes - that is wonderful but still a small bit of the job. You can do a 13 hr shift and be with a woman all that time - give your all and then walk away before the baby is born. You can work shift after shift after shift without delivering a baby. My last delivery was in May because I have been working in antenatal assessment, postnatal and high risk delivery suite.

After 17 years the shift working has really got to me now. My husband works away and I have two children. I am sick of working Christmas, New Year, Bank Holidays, Nights etc. It is a physically and emotionally draining job with the obvious upsetting situations.

However, I agree with the others that you get one life and that you shouldn't go through it with regret and what ifs. The only thing to do is give it a go and see if it's for you.

I advocate the direct entry route because you simply get longer to prepare for qualifying. There is not an accelerated graduate entry programme.

It is really competitive. Be informed - reading the childbirth mumsnet pages are a fab insight into the issues that women feel are important to them and the NMC has good info on the role of the midwife on its website. do not mention OBEM!

Good luck!

Khaleasy Mon 22-Jul-13 17:43:14

Thank you to everybody for your advice so far.
I'm looking at at least another 3 years to complete my psychology degree so if midwifery was for me then I'd be looking a 6-7 years there.
I love psychology, i really do, but I don't feel like it's working for me right now.

I would love to be a midwife because of helping the pregnant women and their families - its less about the babies and more about the families and mothers for me. I imagine myself really enjoying giving support and advice.

Peartreepeartree Mon 22-Jul-13 17:46:34

If its the mothers you are interested in, then it sounds like the right career for you.

The hours can be rubbish, but not every single midwife works horrible shifts. I work 9-5 in the community with very flexible and family friendly conditions. I am very lucky.

CoolWaterRose Mon 22-Jul-13 17:52:10

I'm going to go against the grain and say that it's probably not necessary to finish your current degree-if you are doing OU you're probably doing it over 6 years part time, right? If you are more than 2 years away from finishing and are convinced that midwifery is for you now, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to wait 3-4 years to apply. When I applied to nursing I had just finished my first year of part time OU degree study in maths- it certainly didn't count against me, and in fact was very useful as it counted as recent study in my application.

And huge Yes to getting experience! That will be vital.

CoolWaterRose Mon 22-Jul-13 17:55:16

Cross posted with the OP, if you've got 3 years left I'd not worry about finishing and simply start planning your next step! Don't stop studying until you've sorted something else out though (I assume you're on transitional fees!)

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