Surviving second year studies
Many students find their midwifery course as challenging as it is rewarding. Claire Axcell, winner of the BJM Student Midwife of the Year award 2017, reflects on her second year of study
This midwifery course is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am certain that midwifery is my passion, but the course is difficult and has taken a lot out of me. I am coming to the end of my second year, and while this year has been extraordinary in so many ways, there have been times when I have stopped and pondered why on earth I decided that this was a good idea. In what universe did I ever think I was capable of being a midwife?
A friend, who trained as a midwife herself, spoke to me recently after a difficult shift. She told me that a student's confidence is shaky at best, which I feel is true—for me at least. A mentor who says a cross word to you can erode the burgeoning sense of confidence and competence that, for students, is hard won. The daily battle to appear at least somewhat knowledgeable, and not like a preschooler in a scratchy tunic, can be wearing. We are continually out of our depth, trying to keep pace with fast-moving situations and midwives who have a lifetime's worth of experience. I sometimes feel that by the time I have mastered one thing, it morphs into something new, with angles and consequences that I can not even begin to fathom.
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