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Teaching or Midwifery
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Beth199 · 06/03/2021 09:47

I'm 28 years old and struggling to decide whether to keep on track with a possible teaching career or change to midwifery 🤔

Bit of background... I've got two kids, 10 year old and 1 year old, after having my 10 year old I just stuck with simple jobs, first waitressing then retail but I've always hated it. I decided to look into Primary Teaching so started an undergraduate degree, which I recently finished the first year but I'm not sure this is actually what I want to do.
For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be either a Primary Teacher or a Midwife and now is the time I want to make my final decision.

I chose Teaching because I thought it would be easier with having kids, working school hours, holidays off etc. But that's obviously not how it is, lesson planning, marking at home etc, you end up working more than that. On the other hand Midwifery involves night shift, holiday working etc.
Although I'm more interested in Health Visiting, so the night shifts and such would only be whilst training.

If everything went perfectly 🤦‍♀️ I'd qualify as a teacher in 3 years, midwifery would be 4 years as I'd have to do a science Access course first, and then an extra year after for Health Visiting, so 5 in total. But I think I would like healthcare work more than school work.
Theres also the fact that my current health visitor for my son has helped me with my Postnatal Depression so so much, I'd love to help others in this way too.

How do you decide what you want to do when you grow up, nearing 30 now feels like I need to decide quick!

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Occitane · 06/03/2021 10:07

I have a few friends who wanted to train as midwives, but although they had the right qualifications they were never accepted on to the course. I think it is a very popular course and therefore there are many people applying for a small number of places, so that is something to bear in mind. Maybe you could find more information on this from the colleges you would apply to.

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PresentingPercy · 06/03/2021 10:29

Have you thought about careers like speech therapy or audiology? I’ve got friends doing these and it’s not shift work. Also what about being an occupational therapist. I know one and she doesn’t do shift work either. Might suit you better?

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Beth199 · 06/03/2021 12:26

@Occitane Good idea to ask the university about their intake, I never even considered how difficult that might be 😬

I'll look into those other choices @PresentingPercy, although I'd really like to help new mums with their Postnatal Depression, this was a big thing when I was thinking of Health Visiting.
Or even sonography, but again to focus on pregnancy's I'd have to do the midwife course first, but with it only being 3 years it might not be too bad.

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PresentingPercy · 06/03/2021 15:46

I understand your thinking but you won’t just be dealing with PND snd it’s a slog to get there.

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Dryshampooandcoffee · 06/03/2021 15:57

My DH is a primary school teacher, works about 55 hours a week with all the planning etc. I’m a midwife and can work it around the family quite easily, although you do miss big family events, I’m missing Mother’s Day and Easter Sunday this year. I think we both find out jobs stressful. Health visiting will probably be some regular check ups and supporting women with PND, but mostly safeguarding. I’ve not met many people who actually like their HV, I think there’s a lot of resistance to them as a profession

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Dryshampooandcoffee · 06/03/2021 16:06

For both HV and sonography they probably would want to see a year or two of experience as a midwife. But it would probably be nice to have a break from the studying for a little bit

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PanamaPattie · 06/03/2021 16:08

Choose teaching - you will get more job satisfaction than if you were a MW or a HV.

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Sootess · 06/03/2021 16:32

Health visitors spend a lot of their time on safeguarding issues now

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SomethingAboutNothing · 06/03/2021 16:38

As a 2nd year student midwife I would say make sure you are certain it is what you want to do and you don't go into it blindly. Getting a place on the course is very competitive, the course is long and possibly one of the hardest undergrad courses you can do, and the job at the end probably won't be the dream you imagine. Also factor in affordability. We get a £5k grant now but you will leave uni with a lot of debt.

Sorry to be so negative Confused

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PresentingPercy · 06/03/2021 18:08

But you won’t pay the “debt” off - because it’s not a debt. It’s a grad tax. The positives are always having a grad level job, one that allows part time, one with a great pension and one that’s always in demand. Paying a few hundred £ a year isn’t a bad price for all of that. Decent career progression too. A friend lectured on midwifery.

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Dandelion3 · 06/03/2021 18:14

Due to public sector cuts I think a lot of health visiting roles now have to focus much more on safeguarding cases

Community nursery nurses often work under health visitors carrying out developmental checks / support for families - might be worth looking into a role like that first so you could see if it's really for you?

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Piggywaspushed · 06/03/2021 18:24

I think occupational therapy is a good shout. Or social work?

Midwifery is an intensely competitive degree to get on to. I teach lots of students who have been rejected with all the qualifications and work experience.

Just to be clear, have you now done one year of a BEd and are not enjoying it? I don't think teaching will suit you then in that case. Are you planning on swapping?

I understand that women often plan career paths around childcare but you have still got to really love the job. Teaching is all consuming when you are doing it, often draining, very stressful. I can't speak for healthcare jobs but I imagine it is the same. Teaching is not as childcare friendly as people think and worklife balance is pretty poor in term time.

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StillWeRise · 06/03/2021 18:25

they're very different jobs with very different skills required!
I agree, HV is very dominated by safeguarding
MW with small children (even the training) will require you to have very flexible childcare- shifts are unpredictable. The bonus is it's possible to do a few long shifts and then have several days off. Teaching looks better from a childcare point of view but remember most teachers spend evenings and weekends plus weeks of 'holiday' working.

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StillWeRise · 06/03/2021 18:26

also, midwifery is very physical and messy at times, how are you with bodily fluids, OP?

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Kgrzghtechh · 06/03/2021 18:31

And if the women you encounter with PND don't find your approach helpful? If they're different to you with different needs and different reactions? If you can't help anyone? If you never see the outcome of what you do?

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NerrSnerr · 06/03/2021 18:35

Health Visiting is a very difficult post. I'd expect someone to have a few years of nursing or midwifery under their belt before they start their HV training. You'll be dealing with very complex situations as a lone worker and to be able to do it well you'd need a lot of experience in clinical decision making.

I'm a community nurse and it's tough going by yourself, especially in hostile or volatile environments and you need to be confident in your skills, that's why experience is so important (so much more than HV training).

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DarcyJack · 06/03/2021 18:38

What A level grades do you have op? Most of the therapies that people are suggesting need high grades eg speech therapy pretty much straight As Physio and OT would be looking for 3 Bs or better ideally and audiology again needs As and Bs

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Piggywaspushed · 06/03/2021 18:50

The entry requirements are different if you do access courses. You need to do well in them, though.

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ElderMillennial · 06/03/2021 18:55

If you are able to do either, do the one that appeals to you more as a job, rather than whether it's a 3 year or 4 year course etc.

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overwork · 06/03/2021 18:55

Ultrasound training is starting to be offered as a first degree so it may be worth looking again. I don't know loads about it, nor exactly how it would work, but it's been talked about for years.

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Beth199 · 06/03/2021 19:50

Thanks everyone for offering your opinions, it's so hard to decide on a career at any age isn't it!

The student loan debt doesn't bother me too much as pretty much every career that I am interested in involves university so I know I'm going to have this debt for a long time afterwards, and it's a good kind of debt... if ever there was such a thing.
Don't worry about being negative in your post, it's best for me to know the bad as well as the good.

I understand midwifery is a difficult job but never thought about how difficult it might be to get onto the course in the first place, but the blood and gore doesn't bother me too much. I've completed my first year of an educational BA degree and I'm about half way through my second year now but I'm just not enjoying it at all, I'm finding it incredibly boring and I end up doing as little work as possible and handing my assignments in at the last minute. That's why I think teaching isn't the right idea for me, I think I originally chose it focusing on childcare but I'm wanting to just think about what I want now... Its gonna be difficult with young kids but hopefully better in the long run.

I'm going to look more into occupational therapy but midwifery is still high on my list 😊

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Howshouldibehave · 06/03/2021 19:55

@PanamaPattie

Choose teaching - you will get more job satisfaction than if you were a MW or a HV.

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PresentingPercy · 06/03/2021 20:01

A young lady I know was qualified as a nursery nurse. After doing several years at a nursery, she moved on to working in a Family Centre offering specialised advice to people who were struggling with parenting. Would you consider working in this sort of environment? It’s very hands on and you do make a useful contribution.

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littlemisslozza · 06/03/2021 20:10

I wouldn't recommend teaching to fit in with childcare. You will miss all their nativities, sports days, won't meet other parents at drop off and pick up as they will need to go to breakfast and after school club unless you have other family to do the school run. Yes, the holidays are a bonus for childcare but different schools often don't match and have different PD days too.

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MrsPatrickDempsey · 06/03/2021 20:15

What about either adult or children's nursing as a route into health visiting?

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