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Students in practice: The role of the student support midwife

02 July 2018
Volume 26 · Issue 7


The Nursing and Midwifery Council's Standards for pre-registration midwifery education state that the balance between clinical practice and theory for pre-registration midwifery education should be no less than 50% practice and no less than 40% theory. Time spent in clinical practice should enable students to achieve the required standards to be competent and confident at the point of registration. In September 2020 ‘future proof’ standards of proficiency for registered midwives will ensure student midwives are adequately prepared to deal with the increasingly complex demands of their chosen profession. In the interim, the model of support with students being supervised by sign-off mentors will remain in place. This article will discuss how one Trust has introduced the enhanced role of student support midwife to coordinate student placements.

Previous articles in this series have discussed strategies to support student midwives in training from the academic's perspective, covering topics such as the importance of building students' resilience (Power, 2016a); the potential impact of introducing the role of the Professional Midwifery Advocate (PMA) into the university setting (Power and Thomas, 2018); ‘survival guides’ for assessments, theory and practice (Power, 2015a; 2015b; Power and Murray, 2017;) and how to prepare for interview (Power and Briody, 2016b). What has yet to be considered is the support that students receive in the clinical area, which makes up no less than 50% of the course (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2009) and which has equal importance in terms of student retention, student satisfaction and quality of care. This article will discuss how one Trust has introduced the enhanced role of student support midwife to coordinate student placements, and will consider its effect on the student experience.

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