• 29 July 2019
  • 14 min read

Midwifery Q&A - part one

  • Louisa
    Student Midiwfe

In this video, Louisa answers your questions about studying midwifery!

Play video: Louisa answers your questions about midwifery!

Hey guys, welcome back to my channel Being Louisa!

So, today's video is sponsored by Nurses.co.uk. Nurses.co.uk are an online website where you can find all things nursing, from job posts to blog posts and the midwifery section which is expanding with us.

So today's video is gonna be part one of a midwifery Q&A; I asked you guys over on Instagram and on the community section of my channel, what you guys wanted to know about midwifery.

Read more

• How to return to professional nursing or midwifery practice after a career break

Managing time as a midwifery student

5 things I wish I knew before starting midwifery

I was like, free for all, go ahead, as long as it's midwifery related!

I had well into the forties worth of questions, maybe even 50!

I think I had 30 something over on Instagram and then I had like 16 or 14 over on YouTube, so quite a few to get through.

I am making this into two parts; the second part will be coming out in August, probably August the 6th because I'm thinking about doing Veda.

So, just watch out for that video and if you're watching this after that time I will link it up there for this part two.

Is it possible to hold down a job whilst doing a degree in midwifery?

This is a two-part question but she literally did it in two different questions.

So this question is from Louisa, and it is ‘how do students support themselves on a midwifery degree? And also, as I can assume, I’m guessing your job is impossible with all placement hours?.

So yes, having a job - it's not impossible, it's pretty hard.

Most students, especially if they are from my year or lower, we all have the student finance loan unless they've already had a degree, then they have to fend for themselves!

But if this is your first degree then you get a student loan to pay for the degree itself, also you can get a maintenance loan which is your living allowance which you can get.

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Because I come from a low-income household I get the maximum living allowance, so I'm pretty chill.

I do have jobs, I get jobs wherever I can just so that I can pay off those little things that I've got to pay off but otherwise you can live really comfortably without having a job as a student midwife, if you get a good loan.

Some people do have jobs and they just manage to work their jobs and they do it, other people like myself find it kind of stressful to have a proper job, so I only do jobs where it's flexible hours that I can work.

Play video: Louisa shares her best and worst experiences on placement.

Should I do some reading before starting my midwifery course?

This is by C Williams - ‘what reading should you do over the summer before starting first year?’

Try doing some reading.

If you're not doing an access course and you’re coming straight from A-Levels or however you're coming into it, or if you’re coming straight from another degree, try doing some reading on basic anatomy and physiology, just to get your bearings about it.

It may sound like complete gibberish when you're reading it, but when you're in lectures you'll be like ‘oh I read that word the other day’ or ‘I read that word three weeks ago’ and then you'll finally figure out what it means.

I know there's some topics where you can do your own research on it, at first it can be confusing but when someone else explains it you're like ‘okay, I got it!’ So, maybe do some anatomy and physiology reading up.

Have you ever experienced bullying on placement?

This one's by someone called Student Midwife - ‘have you ever experienced bullying on placement?’

No, I have not - I've done a video about bullying within midwifery but I personally have never experienced it.

What’s been the hardest part of your degree?

What have you found to be the hardest thing of your degree?

The placement hours and having essays due when you're on placement - oh, I hate that, like absolutely hate that. It’s what's been stressing me out the last couple of weeks I've had to get an extension and mitigating circumstances for two of my essays because I was stressing out so much and my anxiety was flaring up, I was just getting all in my head and I get really sad - it wasn't good!

That question was by Hermione.

Play video: How to stay motivated in midwifery!

How can you mentally prepare yourself for the role of a midwife?

This is from Grace - ‘how can you prepare yourself mentally for the role of a midwife?’

Oh, I don't know!

I think you need to get a tough skin, I don't know how you would do that without life experience really.

If you don't have a tough skin, if you don't take criticism well, if you don't take certain things well, then it's not going to be a fun ride.

Life itself isn't easy, it isn't fun, like if you've had an easy life up until now, well done, like you are lucky!

But life is not like that and so be prepared for midwifery to not be like that, that's how you should prepare yourself!

Don’t go there with this fantasy because most likely it won't be like that and it sucks when it's not like that.

What are the most challenging parts of midwifery?

This is by Ayla - ‘what are some of the best and worst / most challenging parts of midwifery?’ Oh, I'm actually doing a video sort of similar to this so stick around for my next video and I'll let you know about that! 

How can I build my confidence to start midwifery?

The next question was ‘I want to start midwifery but I'm worried about my confidence - any tips?’

Fake it till you make it if you have to!

I don't know how else to work on your confidence.

For me there's a part in our PAD, which is our practice assessment document, and it has these values and you have to say which one you struggle with or which ones you think you would welcome most, and consistently for the last two years it's always been ‘I don't feel confident enough’ or ‘I feel like I could be more confident in talking to women and their family’.

That’s just something I feel like I could be more confident in because if you guys have ever met me in person or see me in person, I am an awkward person, I'm slightly weird - honestly, I'm weird and I am slightly awkward!

I don't like to talk a lot all the time, these videos may seem like I do.

To be fair, if I like the topic we're talking about, if I’m passionate about it I can talk for a decade!

Otherwise, I am an introvert at heart.

I don't like to talk sometimes, I like to be silent and that's kind of awkward in a birthing room!

That’s just my confidence, I don’t feel confident enough, sometimes, to speak.

So, the only way you can work on that is by challenging yourself to do it.

Fake it until you make it!

It’s like interviews - at first when I was 16 I was nervous to interview, but then I faked it until I made it.

But I would go into that mode - she don't take no crap, like she is a little more ratchet than I am, and she was a little bit sassy! I kind of like just went into that mode and yeah, fake it until you make it!

Play video: Louisa shares the previous life experiences that led her to midwifery!

How do you deal with stress on the course?

‘How'd you deal with the stress and high demands of the course?’

I cry!

I go to counseling, I have a really good support system, I have a really close friend on the course with me, I have friends outside of the course, it really does help.

I'm not a big person on going out, but if you're a person that likes that sort of thing, treat yourself!

Go out, go on holidays - I make it a priority to go on holiday.

Take me days.

Yesterday I was supposed to film all my videos and edit them and I didn’t, instead I went for a walk with my mum, I then slept the rest of the day because I’ve just come off of two night shifts and then I watched the Lunar eclipse, which was freakin awesome!

That’s how I treat myself instead of like and I didn't even stress about it, I didn't do any of the work I was supposed to do, like I'm doing it today and then I'm going to start my essay.

Take a few me days if you have to.

What is the workload like?

This one is by Student Midwife again - ‘how many essays do you hand in each year?’

So every University is gonna be different, but with my course at my university we have about three essays a year, three to four essays a year, a practical exam and an online exam.

That's what this year's been like, three essays and those exams this year.

Last year we had the practical exam which is an OSCE, online exam and I think two essays or maybe three essays, I can’t remember!

But yeah, so you have roughly about that much, at least you do at my uni but every uni is different.

A typical day in the community and what to wear

‘Could you describe a typical day in the community? Also what are you supposed to wear?’

So again, every trust is different.

On my first day I just wore uniform because even though the second and third-years told me like it's okay to wear your normal clothes, I thought I should wear my uniform on my first day and then my mentor can tell me what I can wear.

So, again, everywhere is different.

Double-check with your mentors or go in wearing your uniform and then double-check.

And then community - every trust is different. Some trusts,they have only antenatal community and then a separate post age community, some trusts it's antenatal and postnatal together so you can do an antenatal clinic in the morning and then after lunch you can do your postnatal clinic, or you can do a home visit.

So yeah, it's different wherever you are. I just love doing community in general, I love doing postnatal visits at home because I love seeing people in their own environment and I'm slightly nosy!

That's kind of like how it is and it's usually about 8am until 6pm, I haven’t done community in a year or so, I have no idea!

Play video: Louisa gives advice on how to survive 12 hour shifts!

How to communicate with patients

This one's by Mariah and it's ‘do you find communication with patients easy? And share some tips!’

As I've just mentioned, no I do not because I am awkward and a bit weird, so no I don't find it easy, except sometimes I just connect with someone and you just can’t help it when you connect with someone.

I had this lady who, we just liked the same things and we were laughing together and it was easy, but otherwise it's not. It was so funny because we started talking about animals and it was the weirdest thing but we started talking about animals giving birth and then we started talking about animals in general.

She taught me stuff about penguins and it was amazing, but yeah so that was a weird conversation to have with a lady I was looking after, but sometimes that happens because you just connect with them.

Otherwise, I can't give you any tips because trust me I'm still trying to figure it out myself.

I think it’s just taking a deep breath and going, you know as much as you do and if you don't know something just say I'm not sure but I can double-check with my mentor, because I personally respect it when my health care professionals actually are honest with me and tell me I have no idea!

What’s the hardest thing about the degree?

This one's by Lizzie, and she asked ‘what's the hardest part of the degree?’

I think, like I said before, having essays due in when you have placement or you have an essay due in when you have a study week but you've just been on placement for the past month.

I can't do an essay in a week, I physically can't like my just dyslexia does not allow it and my brain does not allow it!

I found it really hard to be on placement and then do my essay, I'm so tired when I'm not on shift.

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How do you address the common misconception that nurses and midwives are the same?

The next once is by Deborah - ‘how do you address the common misconception that nurses and midwives are the same?’

I just say I'm a midwife like if someone says ‘nurse’, I say midwife.

It's one of the things I'm so used to, like from school, people have been saying my name wrong they always say ‘Louise i’ instead of Louisa, I’d correct them and I’m the same with this.

If someone says I'm the nurse, I say midwife.

But yeah, it's not bashing us.

Some nurses in certain areas do a lot.

If someone says it, I just think, well it's nice that we just look after healthy women a lot of the time, otherwise I just brush it off.

First year vs second year

‘How has second year been compared to first year? I'll be a second year in two months and everyone says it's way harder.’

For me it felt a huge jump because we only had three weeks off, then a week of uni or two weeks of Uni, then I was on placement.

So it was weird because it was technically like a month difference from my last placement ending to my first placement in second year starting.

I was like, not much has happened in that time, I've just about like I've just been working that whole month off and like crying!

My skill knowledge has not grown that much but people expect you to be like so much more knowledgeable.

So yeah, that's like the only thing I feel like that's really been tough.

Obviously like I took a month off and focussed on my own mental health but I was like I think if I didn't through the personal things that I went through I don't think I would have found it as hard as I have, but because I went through those personal things I've gone through it and I took a month off and then that put me behind on my placement schedule then I worked through Easter and I worked through two weeks of study leave, so I haven't had an actual break in a while, so that's been really hard!

But otherwise, I personally haven't found it that bad but you find just like reacclimatise yourself you just step up your knowledge, then you realise you actually know more than you think you do!

Anyway, I'm gonna end this part here because on my camera it says 20 minutes and that's ridiculously long and I still got way more questions to go, so I'm gonna end this part, and stick around for part two to see if your question has been answered!

And until next time, keep on being you.

If you like this video give me a thumbs up, comment down below any questions or suggestions and don't forget to subscribe to get weekly updates.

Bye!

About the author

  • Louisa
    Student Midiwfe

I'm a student Midwife studying at Kingston University, partnered with St. Georges in London. Alongside my uni work and placements, I also create vlogs for my channel, Being Louisa, and for Nurses.co.uk.

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