To ask if there's any midwives on here that fancy giving me "a day in the life of" story?(14 Posts)
I have always always always wanted to be a midwife, never really did anything about it - started work straight out of school. Did social sciences which lead me nowhere because it's not what I want.
I'm seriously thinking now about going forward with becoming a midwife. I just need to be sure it's right for me before investing more time into it.
What are the shift patterns like?
How does it fit around your children?
Does the pay reflect the work load?
I'm not a midwife, I'm a critical care nurse.
Regarding your questions.
Shift patterns chap. I didn't see my kids at all on Christmas day_ 13 hour shift.
How does it fit around my children? With difficulty.
Does the pay reflect the workload/level of training/level of responsibility - absolutely not.
However, I'll tell you what, if it's interesting, challenging, satisfying (sometimes), oh, and on Christmas day I saved someone's life
Life is short, I if you've always wanted to do it go ahead, don't have regrets. Although it's hard it's the best thing I ever did, and I met my husband through it
I am a midwife. Where i work we do 13.5 hour shifts. We change from days to nights to days very quickly without much chance to 'recover'. I am meant to do three shifts a week but in reality it ends up being more. The rota is only out a few weeks in advance and I work more weekends than I don't. It's a nightmare for childcare but having a partner who has a regular 9-5 job helps to offer a normality for the kids that I can't. It's enormously stressful and the pressure we work under is ridiculous sometimes. I work in a very busy unit in the south and the birth rate is rising but numbers of midwives are not. We very often work whole shifts without a break due to the work load. The pay in no way reflects the responsibility and work load of the job.
That said, it is never boring, it's challenging, rewarding and very often completely amazing. so if I have not put you off and you don't mind bodily fluids then go for it. As previous poster said, it's bloody hard but I wouldn't do anything else.
Thanks for your replies.
I'm guessing it's easier once the kids are in school, mine would both be in school by the time I qualify. 3 shifts a week is good, frees up 4 days to be with family.
In terms of Christmas etc, are you pretty much guaranteed to have to work it?
You will definitely have to do some shifts over Christmas. Where I am we have to do either Christmas or NY and have to do at least two 'premium' shifts ( ie Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, NY eve, NY day). I work 12.5 hr shifts, 13 shifts every 4 weeks for full time. Shift patterns are pretty random, they try to take into account your preferences ie more nights or days, shifts grouped together or spread out, and you get 6 requests a month, but none of this is guaranteed. It is hard work, and huge responsibilty, but very rewarding. Bear in mind you would have to do those shifts while training as well, and in a way there is less flexibility as you have to work whatever your mentor is working for the most part.
Do be aware the shift work is no once you qualify. It starts a few months into your training. You will be expected to attend placements at hours which suit them, so while community placements may be 9-5, wards will expect 12/13 hours and weekends.
While training do u get told in advance what shifts you'd be doing?
Thanks again for all your responses.
Also watching thread with anticipation, I would love to retrain as a MW and it's something I'm seriously considering. Childbirth fascinates me!
It depends on what you mean by 'in advance'. Ideally you would get told about 3-4 weeks ahead, but that doesn't always happen, it can be as little as a week ahead. You really need to have flexible, cast iron childcare in place.
My mother was a nurse when we were kids and the shifts were a disaster. I would not recommend it if you have young children. If they are already close to their teens it can work.
The worst part of being a child of a nurse was the shift patterns being inconsistent. It was early early late night one week (starting on a Sunday) followed by night night late early the following week (starting on a Friday).
There are other nursing positions which are more child friendly. Midwifery is not child friendly either. You need a very supportive partner and family close by.
My mother was much better off when she was the school nurse. It was the perfect job for her.
I think it's actually harder when they are in school than when they are younger. Once in school they start to have things they want to do after school clubs and activities etc and those are a nightmare to sort out round shifts. I feel like I say 'no sorry you can't, mummy is working' an awful lot due to the inconsistency of shifts. Lots of jobs have there challenges though... you do need plan a, plan b and plan c childcare. If my kids are ever ill it's always my husband who has to take the time off as it's very hard to do so in a job like that when you know they will be short without you.
IME, (as a former A&E nurse), nursing or midwifery only works if you are either young, single with no DC, or your DC are independent and your partner isn't bothered by your absence from their life.
I'd like to add that childbirth is only a portion of what you do as a midwife!
Gaining entry into a midwifery degree is incredibly competitive and you get thrown pretty much straight away into shifts. The degree is 3 years and challenging. Some people chose to qualify as an Adult Nurse (3 years) and then do the 18 months midwifery 'top up' course.
Consider finances carefully for when you'd be a student - look at what you'd be entitled to and whether you could manage.
Childcare is a big one. You need flexible childcare.
And I think it's worth considering the darker days in midwifery.. you won't always catch a baby and send it home with a loving family. There are still births, social services referrals, long shifts, Christmas to work...
In regards to pay - I don't think any NHS job below being a consultant reflects the work you do! I don't believe it's a career you can go into for money. But I guess that if a career and a passion come together then money isn't the be all and end all!?
Im not trying to put you off, it's a beautiful career, but going into it mindful that there is much more to it than you see on One Born Every Minute!
Good luck whatever you decide
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