A midwife's advice for new students
The ‘best of times, the worst of times’? Beginning your midwifery journey may be daunting, but it will also be incredibly rewarding. Karen Barker shares her words of wisdom for new starters
September is traditionally the time when the majority of new students start their programmes. As a lecturer and midwife of many years, meeting people for the first time always makes me think back to the beginning of my career and the lessons I have learnt along the way.
Midwifery courses continue to be popular and students have done amazingly well to get their place. As such, many have gone above and beyond to gain experience to enhance their personal statements. This means they already have a good deal of valuable experience and life skills to aid them as they progress. However, as we know, being a midwife can be a rollercoaster of emotions and students can be faced with difficult situations from their first day in practice.
I would advise students to value their peers and the support they can bring. Being with a group of people all working towards the same goal is a massive help. They will all have different experiences and ups and downs but this is where lifelong friendships can be made. Learn to share thoughts and feelings, helping each other where possible, and use any leadership skills to promote group collegiality. Groups who get along well together find the course much more enjoyable and individuals seem much more able to share any concerns openly, knowing they won't be judged. You can be the student who is kind, helps to organise events and makes the student journey as enjoyable as possible. Getting involved is a great way to learn and develop. Offer to be the student representative, be a part of midwifery societies and help form the midwife of the future via curriculum planning. Being involved means you will get a better sense of achievement.
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