Beware of Facebook!

Now you want to be a midwife, you need to think about how you are presenting yourself on Facebook and other social networking sites – Twitter, Tumblr etc.  When you start your course, your tutor will have a chat with the cohort (class) about what’s not acceptable for a midwife to do in public, e.g. drunken nakedness, or photos of same on Facebook.

Social networking is a big area of concern for Health Faculties right now, they are losing several students a year who make inadvisable comments on Facebook or Twitter. Basically, you can’t ever mention anything to do with work on a social network, as it’s considered to be the same thing as announcing it in public, even if your page is only visible to your family and close friends. The reason for that is to do with the fact that anybody can comment on your status and then it becomes  visible to anybody else. Once you have posted something on Facebook, it is considered to be in the public domain, and the same as shouting it in the middle of a crowded street, or emailing it to everybody in the world.

Think about your privacy settings on all your social networks, make sure they are set to the most restrictive settings, Friends Only for everything, before you apply to university. One reason for that is that employers have started to Google applicants, there is nothing to stop Universities from doing the same thing. Everything you’ve ever posted, going back several years, may still be accessible online to people searching your name. From now on, be very careful what you post, and think about your future career!

Google yourself, and see what comes up. It might surprise you! Lots of teachers and academics never have a Facebook profile, because of the difficulties of maintaining the proper professional distance from their pupils in this arena. The same problems apply to midwives, if your clients ever ask to ‘friend’ you, you can’t accept. There is a boundary between providing a service to somebody and becoming friends, which it is not professional to cross.

The NMC Code and Rules and Standards are useful when thinking about these issues, and they have also recently produced advice on social networking for nurses and midwives, if you’re concerned, have a read of this:

http://www.nmc-uk.org/social-networking-advice

How amazing is my job…

How many jobs are there where you get up in the morning and you’re excited to go to work?

Some days, when I’m on a low-risk placement, with a lovely mentor, I am just thrilled to be going to work, I can’t wait to get there. There is something amazing about this job, even in community, when it’s not all about births, it’s the more mundane everyday midwifery work, feeling squirmy babies in  tummies, chatting about women’s small aches and pains, reassuring them that everything is normal, sharing their fears and excitement about the upcoming birth, talking about names for the baby, having a laugh with the Dads.

English: A sleeping male baby with his arm ext...

Image via Wikipedia

I feel privileged to be doing this job, it’s such an intimate relationship we form with our women, a bond born out of a common fascination with birth that we share with them. I love seeing the same women week in, week out, getting to know their older kids, letting them play with the Pinard, listening in as a family to the baby’s heartbeat.

Sometimes we lose sight of how lucky we are to be in these women’s lives at this emotional time, it can become mundane, that’s why I enjoy talking to you guys, who are at the beginning of this amazing journey, you haven’t lost any of that awe at the incredibleness of birth! Or one of my friends at Uni reminds me of why we’re doing this, becoming the best midwives we can be, providing the care that women deserve, being caring and compassionate, and not intervening just for the sake of it, allowing women to find their own path on this journey, joining with them rather than leading them.

Being with woman, says it all.

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! 🙂

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!