Preparation for application for Midwifery. 

Qualifications

It would be wise to do some research before you take things further. Often people know they want to be a midwife through their own personal experiences or that of others close them.  No matter what it is, make a note and have a look into what qualifications you have already done, starting with your GCSE's results is a good place to start, if you know that you haven't got the results you need perhaps have a chat with your local college who can advise you of Maths and English GCSE course's which are currently free to access. Most universities want you to have Maths and English grade 4/C or above. Please check out the links below for maths and english support. Have a look at what you might have studied previously at college too as you might have earned UCAS points.  Most mature applicants will go and complete an access course, this can be done at you local college as well as online.  You will need to decide what will work best for you depending on your other commitments. Please do have a look in the forum about this.  But whatever your situation do not worry, there is more than likely a way. 

Open days

Attending open days at the colleges and universities you would like to study at is really helpful as it will help give you some insight into the commitment and dedication required for a program like midwifery.

Some key questions you might want to ask and consider are:

1. What is the location of the university?

2. What would travelling to the university be like?

3. Where are the placement options?

4. Are the placements integrated or block placements?

5. What support can the university offer if things are not going well?

They often have students there who you can chat to, plus they usually give loads of freebies :-) So go ahead and sign up for the next open day!

Work experience

If you are interested in becoming a midwife and you have not had previous experience of giving direct care to someone with health needs, it might be an advantage to organise some form of experience in this area before applying for a course - I say this but it can be quite difficult. 

Some maternity units may offer the facility for you to spend a few days observing the work that midwives undertake. This can be a valuable way of gaining an insight into the demands of the job and building your confidence working in healthcare environments. The best way to arrange this is to contact your local NHS Foundation Trust and explain why you are interested in a career as a midwife. Alternatively, you might want to speak to the careers advisor at your school or college as they sometimes have existing arrangements with local NHS services.

It is important to remember that work experience is becoming increasingly uncommon where greater precautions are now taken to ensure the safety and security of women and their babies, and the process of completing DBS checks is becoming quite a large task.  As an alternative, it may be helpful to contact your local maternity unit and ask if you can speak to a midwife about their role.

If your personal circumstances allow this, another pathway is to find work in a health and social care setting. You might want to find work as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) under the guidance of healthcare professionals like nurses or midwives. This type of experience can help you gain a better understanding of healthcare provision and working within multidisciplinary teams.

It may be useful to get involved in local support groups for pregnant women and new mothers, or find voluntary work that demonstrates your skills in communication and teamwork. Organisations like Home-Start, Maternity voices Partnership, The positive birth movement and Samaritans might be good places to start.  

Research and reading

Another way to prepare for your application is to develop your knowledge of midwifery by reading relevant materials.

You may be interested in reading articles from the 

- MIDIRS Midwifery Digest,

- NHS constitution and Values

- NMC - Nursing and Midwifery council

- All4maternity

- RCM - Royal College of Midwives

or articles from other publications such as the RCM Midwives magazine.

Other suggested reading can be round a vast majority of topics and specifically it can be anything that you feel is relevant to Midwifery. 

being in some online groups that cascade and share information is really good to keep in the loop.

FaceBook have a few such as 

- Secret Community for aspiring midwives

- Midwifery study days and conferences

- Midwifery sales

- Say no to bullying in midwifery

- Bloodtobaby optimal cord clamping

- Your local midwifery society group

- Independent Midwives UK.

A good tip is to make notes as you read along stuff and note down things that you would like to know more about or key points that are worth remembering. 

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