Newly qualified midwives: Be confident and competent
As a lecturer I see lots of students start and complete courses of study, and it is nearing that time of year when another cohort of students are preparing to complete their midwifery programme and take up posts as newly qualified midwives. It is one of the most rewarding parts of my role to see students develop in confidence, knowledge and skills over the 3 years to become competent ‘at the point of registration’. This, of course, requires not only a great deal of effort on their part but also the support of mentors and lecturers.
Students all reach the point of qualification via different paths, having varying experiences and often feeling more confident in some areas of practice than others. Due to the amount of time most students spend in hospital placements, they tend to feel more comfortable with high-risk care. This is something most programmes are seeking to address ensuring placements support confidence in low-risk care such as birth centres and with team midwives. Promoting normality in every situation is encouraged and the role of the supervisor of midwives is being developed to support students in their practice in relation to this. This rounded experience is required to ensure that the midwife who is ‘fit for purpose at the point of registration’ continues to develop within this role.
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