Midwifery Degree Interviews – Questions

The first comment on my blog today was from Vicky Rogers, Hi Vicky!

She got me thinking about interviews, it’s such a source of stress, I will never forget mine, I was on total autopilot, but I had prepared, and was ready for them! I started badly, due to nerves, but once I got into my stride everything went ok. They know you’re going to be nervous, and they will explain some stuff to you first to give you time to compose yourself and calm down.

I don’t think there’s a huge amount of variety in the kinds of questions interviewers ask, you can expect things like

Why are you interested in being a midwife?
What is the role of a midwife?

What direct experience do you have of working with or supporting women (or adults), in a maternity (or other) setting?

What strengths do you have which will help you in your role as a midwife?

What weaknesses do you have which you think you will need to overcome/work on?

What do you think will be the biggest challenge in taking on the midwifery course?

What kind of family support/childcare do you have?

What is the last thing you read about midwifery? What is the NMC and what do they do?

What do you think will be the best thing about being a midwife?
And the worst thing?

What skills do you have from previous jobs/school/work experience that you can bring with you?

Why do you think you would be a good midwife?

I hope that’s helpful, I have some more stuff to say in another post, but it’s not rocket science, have an idea in advance of the stuff you want to get across in the interview, make a list of your key skills, and key experiences, and be ready to talk about those whenever they give you an opening.

Do some research on the NMC Code and Rules, start here:

http://www.nmc-uk.org/Nurses-and-midwives/The-code/The-code-in-full/

http://www.nmc-uk.org/Publications/Standards/

Once you’re on the course, you will live and die by these two documents, they are the foundation stone for everything we do as midwives.

English: Source - Nursing and Midwifery Counci...

Image via Wikipedia

Google a piece of news about midwifery, and have a think about why it’s important.

The interview is your opportunity to shine, know what you want to say, and take any chance to say it. You need to get across your passion for midwifery.Remember, they’ve selected your application out of hundreds, because they think you may have the stuff they are looking for, that’s already a huge step.

When you’re waiting to go in, remember to BREATHE! In and out, long slow breaths, if you’ve ever done any meditation or yoga, now is the time to practice those skills. You need that oxygen to keep your brain functioning! (lol)

Good luck to Vicky, I hope it all goes really well! 🙂

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Why would you want to be a Midwife?

So, why would you want to become a midwife?

The future of the NHS as I write is looking very uncertain and possibly fragmented. There will be an increase in the involvement of private health care providers, nobody knows what it’s going to look like, but there are already changes happening. On the Wirral, there is a new company called One-to-One Midwifery, who are doing a fantastic job of providing home births and maternity services to the women living there. They have been subcontracted by the NHS to do this work, and are doing it very successfully. As a future-qualifying midwife, you may find yourself applying to the private sector for a job, the days of automatically being employed by the NHS Trust where you have qualified are over.

In the NHS itself, resources are tight, and the quality of service provided has at times been affected, becoming visible in some newspaper stories about women treated very badly during their labour and birth. I would argue that no midwife wants a woman to feel she has been mistreated, but sometimes the pressure of work is enormous.

                     Image via Wikipedia

Despite all the uncertainty about the political landscape and the future of the NHS, there is still a huge amount of energy in the profession, and a strong commitment to provide the best possible care to the women we look after. I have been inspired so many times by my midwife mentors, and their consideration for the women they look after, their determination to do the best they can even in difficult circumstances. They give me the strength to continue even when I am exhausted and wondering how I can go on.

I can and do encourage women (and men!) to join the Midwifery profession, it is an honourable and ancient profession, it’s all about being together with women, supporting them, helping them through the most difficult and amazing day of their life.

What could possibly be better than that?

Midwifery HEALTH WARNING!

I know that like I was, you are probably incredibly keen to become a student midwife, it’s all you can think about, you are constantly reading about midwifery, and talking about it, the prospect of applying to University is keeping you awake at night, rehearsing your interview over and over. You have nightmares where you forget to paste your Personal Statement into your UCAS form. I get it. But before I go any further, and talk about the amazing privilege it is to work with women, I have to post a health warning.

Midwifery is a tough course, with a steep learning curve, and is a bit like doing a full-time job, with a full-time degree in the evenings on top of it. While you are on placement, you may find you are ‘working’ 30 hours a week, attending Uni for a study day for 7 hours a week, and producing around 4 major assignments a year in your spare time. On top of that, there is also ‘homework’ or directed study to do between study days. Every single Uni day and every single placement day is compulsory, so if you are sick, or miss a day, you have to catch it up in your own time before the end of the year. If you miss a study day, you have to produce a piece of written work which shows you have understood everything that was taught on that day.

If you have children, and/or a partner, your family time is going to be seriously affected by the course, and achieving a work/life balance that suits everyone can be damn hard work. The other mature students that I know have fantastic family support, grandparents helping out with the kids 2 or 3 days a week, partners taking career breaks to mind the kids, and this support is essential, as you will be working unsociable hours, maybe starting at 7am, and finishing at 7.30pm, with travel time on top, as well as quite a few nights, and (most) weekends.

All the students I know, even the more youthful ones, say that the course takes something from your personal life, it can’t all survive intact, something’s got to give. We’ve all experienced quite a bit of anxiety as a result of the course, and we all have our own ways of dealing with that.

I just want you to be as prepared as you can be, so that you don’t find you have to drop out because you didn’t realise the strain that the course would put on you. In upcoming blogs, I’m going to talk about ways of planning your life so that the course is more manageable, I’m not in the business of putting anybody off, we need all the passionate and committed midwives we can get!

Why did I become a student midwife?

So you’re thinking about studying midwifery – well, you’re not alone. The interest in midwifery as a career has grown enormously in the last few years, fuelled at least in part by ‘Call the Midwife’ and ‘One Born Every Minute’. Both these shows have given us an insight into the kind of work a midwife does. Call the Midwife because of the community-based midwifery it shows, and the lovely home births, and One Born Every Minute because of the way it shows real people reacting to emotional situations.

346 - Liam Kincheon Lander

346 - Liam Kincheon Lander (Photo credit: eyeliam)

I have seen a lot of my own experiences in One Born, and I especially enjoy seeing the midwives talking to the women, their partners and mums, having a joke together, getting everybody relaxed, and making the experience less scary. I’m a second year Midwifery student, and that’s my only qualification for writing this blog, I’ve been there. The desperate desire to make it onto the course, the incredibly long process of applying, and waiting to hear if you’ve got an interview, followed by the wait for the offer or the brush-off. The hours in between spent second-guessing your own personal statement, and sharing your fears and worries with other people in the same position on blogs and internet forums.

So why did I decide to abandon my fairly well-paid job in administration for the call of midwifery? I’d had enough of a job that was both high-stress and extremely boring, I wanted to make a difference. And now I do.

Welcome to my New Blog!

Hello and welcome!

I’m new to blogging, and am looking forward to sharing some of my experiences of becoming a student midwife, how I got on the course, and how I’m surviving it! I’m also hoping any aspiring student midwives out there will get in touch, and let me know what they want me to blog about!

I’m willing to tell you anything you want to know, no holds barred!

My new book ‘becoming a student midwife‘ will be coming out in a couple of months, and I will be making some free downloads available for commenters on this blog 🙂

Better get off for now, that essay on domestic violence won’t write itself!

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