Abbie: Midwifery student
Soon enough, I was talking all the fancy words, understanding all the fancy words, and able to perform an array of clinical skills, including abdominal palpation, venepuncture, catheterisation, breastfeeding and many more!
I struggle to pinpoint the exact moment that I decided midwifery was for me, but the aspiration to become one has inspired me from a young age to succeed. In all honesty, my interest began in a naïve sort of way, thinking that being a midwife was all about holding babies. As my interest grew, and I researched the role further, partaking in work experience and talking to midwives, I realised that the role encompassed so much more than babies. The thought of building a special professional relationship, as well as following someone on the pregnancy and parenting journey, ignited a passion for something like no other. This passion saw me through choosing my GCSE subjects, onto my A-level choices, and when things didn’t go to plan, to finding an access course to support me onto the next step.
I was lucky enough that during sixth form I was able to complete a week’s work experience in the postnatal and antenatal unit of my local hospital. I saw how midwives support women to be the forefront of their care. I saw the importance of informed consent; how building fast relationships is essential and that women truly value and remember how their midwives made them feel. After my A-level grades weren’t as I expected, to keep my university place, I decided that an access to higher education diploma was the way to go. Wanting to carry on working, to ensure I was financially secure, I chose to study online and with academy online learning. The course was flexible, covered modules in health, biology and psychology and aided my reapplication to university, gaining me a successful unconditional offer at my first-choice (and second choice) university.
Starting university, on the degree I’d been waiting years to do, was daunting. Not only was the academic side of things slightly terrifying, the workload, and how I was expected to know enough to go on placement within 8 weeks astounded me! Soon enough, I was talking all the fancy words, understanding all the fancy words, and able to perform an array of clinical skills, including abdominal palpation, venepuncture, catheterisation, breastfeeding and many more! After a couple of weeks on the course, we were set our first assignment. Having done the access course, which involved a lot of academic writing and referencing, I felt at ease that I was able to competently reference, as well as write academically. This was something I struggled with a lot during my A-levels, but having these skills has made my assignment writing far easier.
At present, I’m two weeks away from starting clinical placement, on a postnatal ward and community, and next week is my first OSCE (objective structured clinical examination) which is intimidating, but I know I can do it. Despite my first week of placement potentially involving a lot of baby holding, midwifery for me is still very much about being “with woman”, giving every mother the necessary attention, advocating and supporting her in every way to provide the women-centred care she deserves.
Abbie is a first year midwifery student at the University of Plymouth and writes about her experiences as in her excellent blog, Blood Blues & Babies
You can follow her on Twitter @MidwifingAbbie