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Career Advice

How to become a midwife

If you’re like me, one episode of “One Born Every Minute” is enough to put you off even being near a maternity ward. Plenty of people however, consider it to be one of the most fulfilling jobs that exist. You are quite literally bringing life into the world. Not quite as impressive as ‘writing articles on how to make it in a certain profession’ of course, but not far behind. Without further ado therefore, let us introduce you to the wonderfully fruitful, inspiring and often icky world of midwifery.

Qualifications (UK)
There is an obvious necessity when dealing with health issues to possess the right qualifications, and the most important of these  for midwifery is known as a pre-registration programme. This can be either the actual midwifery degree, or alternatively, if you’re already a qualified and registered nurse, a 78 week full time programme.

The former option of these is generally the more common, giving students upon completion both an academic and professional qualification. Exactly half of the degree is spent in supervised midwifery practice (in community and hospital locations), whilst the rest is theory based and examined work. It’s a full time, three year course and generally involves students taking night shifts throughout. Entry onto the degree varies from university to university and college to college, so it’s critical that you check yourself before applying to your desired location. Generally, a minimum of 5 GCSEs with at least a C (including English and a science related subject), and at least 2 A-Levels are the norm. For the 78 week programme, the obvious criterion is to be a qualified and registered nurse already.

Many organisations within the NHS offer something called the Cadet Scheme. This allows people who may not quite reach the academic requirements of either of the pre-registration programmes, to take a course – normally through their local higher education colleges – to gain experience that will benefit them in professions such as midwifery, amongst others. People who complete these types of courses are normally, though not always, given priority onto pre-registration training.

Type of person
A ‘strong constitution’ would be high on my list of things one needs to be a midwife. Perhaps it’s just my own over-sensitivity, however if you’re not a fan of seeing blood, guts and any other number of biological things I don’t even want to type, midwifery probably isn’t for you. Given that you will be witness to such things; you’ll also need a calm demeanour and an ability to work under extreme pressure. Potential parents have a curious tendency to be somewhat anxious around the time of their child being born. There may be screaming and shouting and questions (this happens when I watch a programme about childbirth) and such, but it’s all fairly normal. So long as you are confident in your abilities and have a clear understanding of your responsibility and the consequences of ignoring it, you’ll make a fine midwife. Finally it should go without saying that you love babies. But who doesn’t?

How to become a midwife
As with all of these careers, if you really want to be a midwife, you can become one. Make sure your personal statement outlines your passion for the profession and explain succinctly where this passion came from. Watching programmes like Channel 4’s ‘One Born Every Minute’ may seem like a silly reason, but it can be an inspiring show and, as the saying goes, from small roots…grow babies. Or something.

Written by Ethan Loughrey for TheEmployable

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