Lauren, a Midwifery student, spoke to course leader Helen Recchia about what to expect as a student midwife.
What is your favourite thing to teach within the Midwifery curriculum, and why?
I honestly enjoy teaching on all the modules in the Midwifery programme. It's really great to support students at different stages in their journey, and this also gives me plenty of variety!
I think, for me, my two favourite aspects of teaching on the programme are supporting students with developing clinical skills, and also leading the Professional and Legal Frameworks Regulating Midwifery Practice module. This particular module looks at professional regulation and legislation, and develops your confidence with practical issues, such as the importance of accurate record-keeping as a midwife.
Why do you like teaching at the University of York?
I have always lived in York, so I am probably very biased with this question! York is a beautiful, vibrant and friendly city to live in. The University of York just reflects this, and is a welcoming and friendly environment to learn in. I was a student at York over 20 years ago, and I'm still proud of sharing this with friends, family and prospective student midwives!
What are the pros and cons of being a midwife?
Like many professions, there are many pros and cons to midwifery practice. The pros which come to my mind first are that every day is different, which is exciting. As a midwife, you will find yourself supporting and caring for women and their families from all walks of life. Being part of this special time in a woman's life is still a privilege to me.
The cons are that it is hard work. There are long hours, and it can be physically and emotionally exhausting at times. But the other healthcare professionals that you work with will become like an extended family for you, and one which you can learn something new from every day you practice.
How much theory and practice is in the course in the first year?
Over the whole three years of the programme, there is 50% practice and 50% theory. This is divided across the year into small blocks of approximately three to four weeks at a time. Last year, the first-year students started the programme with a theory module, and then went out into practice after the first term.
Student midwives are assessed for both the theory and the practice elements of the course. You'll find that the combination of both theory and practice helps consolidate your learning.
If you had to give advice to future aspiring student midwives, what would you advise them?
I often get asked this question by candidates during the interview process! I would definitely say to an aspiring student midwife that it's not an easy programme, but with hard work, determination and resilience, you will get to the end point quicker than you think.
I would always say to student midwives: tackle one hurdle at a time. Try not to get overwhelmed with the deadlines you have to meet, or the experiences you have in practice - they are all part of learning to become a midwife!
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