For quite a long time I have known that my future career lies within the nursing profession but was unsure of my exact direction. In the last couple of years I have spoken to several different nurses and have attended hospital open days and two work placements and I am now convinced that midwifery is for me.
I have been very impressed with the midwives that I have met and feel that the opportunity to look after women throughout their pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond into the postnatal period would be very rewarding. Being involved with women and their families at such an exciting and yet still quite stressful time of life will enable me to use my communication skills and my abilities to care for people in a calm and non-judgemental way.
Being a good midwife is about having the medical skills and knowledge to guide a woman through a healthy pregnancy and to be alert to the earliest signs that something may be wrong. Caring for diabetic women in pregnancy is a particular interest, as my older sister was diabetic and experienced various complications during her pregnancy last year. Having a calm and dependable midwife was essential to her well being throughout the pregnancy.
It is very important for midwives to be aware of the latest medical knowledge and to inform and explain things to women as clearly and sympathetically as possible so that they can be empowered to make their own informed decisions. Although it would be emotionally challenging, I would like to gain experience working with women who have given birth prematurely or who have had a baby who is born with serious health problems. I believe I have the maturity to provide the support as well as the medical care necessary.
My two work placements so far have been in the maternity unit of my local hospital and out with a community midwife. These were two very different experiences but I thoroughly enjoyed them both. During my placement in the hospital I was able to help monitor a fetal heart beat and to chat to mothers whose babies were just a day old. My days out with the community midwife showed me just how variable this work is and I was excited by the chance to see families and babies in their own homes. The midwife that I shadowed was welcomed and treated as part of the family group, which showed me just how important midwives are in the wider community.
By doing a midwifery degree I hope to become as well qualified as possible on the medical side but I realise that being a good midwife is also about gaining experience of different situations. I would welcome the opportunity to work abroad at some stage of my early career, in a developing world situation. I was lucky enough to visit Kenya last summer with a project to raise awareness of childhood vaccination and to assist the vaccination teams. I met lots of mothers and children and saw how different their situation is compared to a typical family in the UK.
I am working hard to get the grades I need for university but outside work I enjoy playing badminton and painting with watercolours. Some of my time is also devoted to my new niece who is now 6 months old and who has become a very special person on my life. Seeing her grow and develop has confirmed my wish to work with mothers and babies and I am excited to start my journey into midwifery.