To whom it may concern

02 August 2017
Volume 25 · Issue 8


Coming to the end of her midwifery training, Kelly Dawkins writes to students past and present about the realities of midwifery education, and how student midwives may feel

To whom it may concern, Imagine this…

You present for your first shift working in the hospital, and it is so busy staff barely have the time to introduce themselves, ask you your name or show you where to put your things. You find the staff room and put your things away, then make your way to delivery suite, where you notice straightaway how intense the heat is. You join handover, the board is full of patients everything is so foreign and you feel so out of your depth, but you are excited and eager to get stuck in. You look around for your mentor, trying to find a friendly face. The team leader asks you, ‘who are you working with?’

Your mentor isn't there. She has changed her shift and no one let you know. Why would they? You are only a student. You get put to work with someone else for that shift, your name is written on the board as ‘student midwife’—little do you know this will be your label for the next three years. You walk over to the midwife, praying inside that they are friendly; your palms are sweaty and your heart is racing. They let out a sigh and you can see them thinking, ‘Oh great, lumbered with the first-year student midwife—what use are they to me?’

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