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AIBU to put a strain on my family to do a midwifery degree?

64 replies

Habbyhadno · 09/05/2021 17:10

I have wanted to train as a midwife for years, and now my children are all at school/nursery I want to start an access course this Sept with a view to staring a Midwifery course at uni next Sept.
I think it's something that I'm going to have to really bust a gut to do, financially and childcare-wise with my DH having to pick up quite a bit of the slack, I'm not sure we'll get much means tested support as DH has a decent (not huge, but ok to live on one wage) salary. However, I've been a SAHM for four years now and want to do something for myself and get back into the workplace, hopefully in a rewarding career that I've always been interested in.

Has anyone else done this? Am I being selfish to delay earning a wage for the next four years and get into debt and cause a load of stress about childcare to re-start my career from the ground up?

Viewpoints and experience welcome...

OP posts:

Snorkello · 09/05/2021 22:14

Do it! Life is too short and it’s not selfish. Look into courses, costs etc. If your partner is supportive there is nothing to hold you back.

I’m in the middle of retraining. It’s taken ages to get to this point, and I’m giving up higher wages, but it’s about long term happiness, and I have no regrets making the change.

Look into bursaries and subsidies to avoid getting into debt. Take a pt job if you can.


mrsmacmc · 09/05/2021 22:17

When I was doing my nursing training I did bank care assistant shifts at the hospital and a care home to supplement house income. I did get a student nurse bursary too but unsure if that's offered anymore.


SuddenArborealStop · 09/05/2021 22:19

I'm considering the same but I've two still in creche and a mortgage it's still not feasible but I want to start planning


Usernamqwerty · 09/05/2021 22:25

You can now get a £5k NHS bursary on top of student loans.


Goldenoodle · 09/05/2021 22:27

I'm not sure if there is an equivalent. But there is a 4 year nurse degree apprenticeship whereby you are paid a full time wave alongside your studies.
It might be worth a look at OP.


Habbyhadno · 09/05/2021 22:32

Oh, thank goodness. That's made me feel better. I had a good chat about it with DH tonight and we watched the uni that I'm hoping to go to's online open day video for the midwifery course. It was very detailed and mentioned how the placements work and what time I would get off for holidays (so we can think about childcare) just so he could see what it might entail and he said that it sounded good.
We're worried most about childcare costs as we'll have to probably put the older two into after school wraparound and the youngest will need nursery paying for, but that's not forever.
I've had a look into bursaries and there are quite a few if you have children that aren't means tested, so that should help.
Tomorrow I think I'll call the admissions at my local college for access course info and also the uni to see what they need qualifications-wise. I'll call the finance offices to see what financial help I could get as well.
It seems like such a big leap, but if I can get everything clear in my head it might make the decision easier to make.
Thanks for your words of encouragement everyone! I'm thinking I've got at least 30 years of working, so I may as well do it in something that I'm really interested in.

OP posts:

Habbyhadno · 09/05/2021 22:35

@Goldenoodle I would prefer to do an apprenticeship, but I can't see that the hospital I want to work at offers them. I've been looking for MSW jobs to come up (as I was told you can train up from them) for around a year and nothing has, so I'm thinking it might just be better to bite the bullet and do the degreeConfused

OP posts:

Hankunamatata · 09/05/2021 22:39

Id do it. You can do access course online then decide next steps


16purplecolour16 · 09/05/2021 22:41

My daughter wanted to do midwifery apprenticeship but the Government are not investing in midwife training apparently so no apprenticeships and a big volume of applications for BSc. However, she is nearing the end of her Access course and has an offer from the Universities she applied to. Amazing! Financially it will be hard. Get through the Access course and then decide. Access course very childcare friendly. Maybe will boost your confidence.


Thedogscollar · 09/05/2021 22:46

Hi OP midwife here for longer than I'd care to remember Grin

Yes, go for it! We have had lots of our HCA's go on to do their training. It is a hard course both academic and of course shift work on the wards.

There is the bursary now and hopefully other benefits you may qualify for. As you say you have 30 more years of work so defo do it. The NHS pension is still one if the best around.

Opportunities are there after qualifying to branch out into specialist areas which are more office based 9 to 5 hours so may suit family life better. Good luck with everything.


Habbyhadno · 09/05/2021 22:57

@Thedogscollar thank you for that info. I really like that there are places you can progress to in Midwifery and there's lots of avenues to explore, I feel like I've got a lot of experience from a service user side of maternity and received such amazing care that it has inspired me to be able to do a role that would offer that to others. Do you think the degree route would be the best option, or should I try and start as a MSW and train up on the job? Even though the only places that seem to come up locally for MSWs seem to be level 3 and open to internal applicants only. I'm not sure how you bag a level 2 position Confused

OP posts:

AnnieAreYouOkHun · 09/05/2021 22:58

Go for it! You sound in a very similar situation to me and I'm half way through my uni course, it's more than doable especially if you have a supportive dh.


Habbyhadno · 09/05/2021 23:02

That's good to know @AnnieAreYouOkHun I'm so worried about putting extra pressure on the family, but once I'm qualified and earning it will be worth it.

OP posts:

MagnoliaXYZ · 09/05/2021 23:18

You have to go to uni to do it, you can't get trained on the job. If you are employed as a WSA/HCA you may get seconded to do your midwifery training but you have to go go uni and do the degree.

It's very competitive to get in to. I did the shortened course (18 months) after working as a nurse for a few years. There were fewer applicants and we were employed as student midwives for the duration of the course.

Honestly, I enjoyed the course, it was a good 18 months and a wonderful experience, but it wasn't the career for me - it may just have been my Trust but everything was very regimental - and I returned to my career as a nurse, though in an entirely different role to what I was doing before.


Workyticket · 09/05/2021 23:29

Do rhe access course and see how you get on. I trach GCSE Maths at a xollege and lots of my students are on / applying for the nursing pathway Access course

Some have loves every second. Others have struggled/ dropped out. It really is horses for courses


Habbyhadno · 09/05/2021 23:30

@MagnoliaXYZ that does worry me slightly, especially as I have no clinical experience at all. I would hate to get myself into more student debt and then not like the setting, there's a lot to think about.

OP posts:

Habbyhadno · 09/05/2021 23:34

@Workyticket I'd be one of your students as I got an E For GCSE maths ( back in 1997😆) so I'd have to take maths alongside the access course. I was good at English and languages at school ( I've got a journalism degree) but woeful at maths. I was looking at some of the BBC Bitesize maths and English last night and was getting 10/10 for the English tests and 6/10 for maths Hmm

OP posts:

Workyticket · 09/05/2021 23:36

in that case I'd start brushing up your naths skills. We have entry requirements on to the GCSE course - it's a rough one to pass in one year and lots of students do a year on Functional Skills first or need 2 years on the maths course


MagnoliaXYZ · 09/05/2021 23:47

It's difficult, in normal times you could perhaps try and get experience by volunteering in the maternity departmemt, but I bet that's not happening at the moment.

You can work in other areas with a midwifery degree, such as SCBU/NNU or you can go on to do your health visitor training (which you would be employed to do), so even if you don't enjoy it, there are other options and ways yo use your degree.


Thedogscollar · 09/05/2021 23:48

I think very few trusts second people now. Think majority of students are all fed to the trusts through the universities now.

The bonus of working as an HCA or MSW is that you can see the real job warts n all Grin. The job is hard both emotionally and physically but is very rewarding.

Midwifery is changing, in that we are all going into continuity of care teams now, so working in community and in the hospital. You will have your own caseload that you will be responsible for from booking right through to postnatal discharge.

Your husband sounds supportive and he will have to be. Shift work, weekends on duty, Xmas and New year spent at work all part of working for the NHS.

I'm sure you are prepared for all that though. We need more midwives so come join us. The thrill of delivering a baby never leaves you.


Beelzebop · 09/05/2021 23:49

Speaking from experience please make sure your partner and family will support you practically with housework etc. If they don't it is incredibly difficult.


Kidsaregrim · 10/05/2021 00:14

They called it the “divorce course” when I done my training.

Please do some work experience in maternity, it’s not a nice environment at the moment and the work load is HUGE, scroll through posts on here about how women REALLY feel about their treatment from midwives. We can’t give good care, and spend most of our practice trying to defend our PINS.

I had nearly all the school holidays off as a student but there is no paid leave, if your kid is sick or you miss placement, you have to make them hours up, there is no sick leave, every single hour has to be made up again.

I’m leaving midwifery, after loving my job for many years I’m sick of not being able to give excellent care, I’m sick of being a pen pusher, I’m sick of management caring more about policy than women.

Start reading, Ockenden report, moreCombe bay, etc........


Beelzebop · 10/05/2021 01:09

...also a good idea to go on a students forum and chat to midwifery students.


Habbyhadno · 10/05/2021 09:03

@Kidsaregrim I've read quite a lot over the past few years around the issues in maternity care, so I'm not going into with rose-tinted glasses and it does worry me somewhat, thanks for sharing your experience. I think it would be a good idea to try and get some volunteering in first so that I've got more of an idea of what I'd be going into.

OP posts:

babyboysname · 10/05/2021 09:12

Hi I'm a second year student nurse, I have a ds primary school age & another due soon.
I won't lie it's hard work & very stressful but without a doubt the best decision I made.

I don't get much in the way of funding due to DH income, so I get around 13k in student loan/ bursary a year. I also do bank hca shifts at my local hospital. Mainly nights as this is the best money and I can do the school run round it.

One thing I do on placement is ask if I can do long days & work weekends this saves on childcare. Obviously you'll get some community placements as well. The time flies, I can't believe I'm almost in my last year. I'd say go for it, good luck

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