Reflecting on the preceptorship year
Rebecca Alexandra Manning explores her experience of a year-long preceptorship experience and what she knows now
The preceptorship year is a time of transition for a newly qualified midwife, aimed at providing a period of support as they transform from a student to a fully-fledged autonomous practitioner (Royal College of Midwives, 2022). Although programmes may differ, over the cause of 12 months, preceptees must follow a structured framework whereby training is undertaken, experience is gained and competencies are signed off by a preceptor. It has sometimes been referred to as the fourth year of studying (for direct entry midwives) and an extra year of being a student (for non-direct entry midwives), with the added bonus of getting paid.
I completed a direct entry midwifery training programme having previously achieved a Master's degree in biomedical sciences. My first of the 3-year degree programme was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, which saw the end to hospital placements for 5 months and a switch to online learning. Although my university did their best to provide the required educational experience, it was challenging to acquire practical knowledge and skills.
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