May 18, 2020, by sleatherland
Student profile – Gemma’s experience of studying midwifery
In today’s blog post, we caught up with Gemma to find out more about life as a student midwife at the University of Nottingham.
Gemma is currently in her first year of our BSc Midwifery degree programme.
Why did you choose to study midwifery at the University of Nottingham?
Nottingham is well known for its medicine and health science courses within the UK and this caught my attention first and foremost when considering universities and courses. I chose to study Midwifery at Nottingham because their programme was so unique in comparison to other universities and their facilities are excellent.
The midwifery course is structured to separate its theory and practice modules, allowing you to focus primarily on your academic work during theory blocks, and in turn have no academic work to focus on during placement blocks. Many other universities run placement and theory side by side and this made those courses less attractive to me.
The case holding scheme Nottingham offers runs through each year of study. Not every university offers this scheme and those that do tend to offer case holding either in the first or third year with a much larger caseload. Following two women every year enables you to give more time to the scheme allowing both the student and the woman taking part to gain more value.
Nottingham also offers students to undertake the NIPE qualification across the three years. Whilst this is not mandatory it can boost employability and many teaching hospitals value this qualification highly. Many other universities do not offer this at present.
What’s the best thing(s) about your course?
The best thing about the course by far is the teaching staff. It often feels as though you’ve entered into one big midwifery family! The staff always have so much time for you, whatever the type of support you’re requiring and there no such thing as a silly question. They have been and some are still, clinical midwives so they can empathise with you and understand the dilemmas and conflicts you might face both in university and out in placement. The lecturers are very knowledgeable, and the teaching standard is exceptionally high.
What’s the best thing about student life at the University of Nottingham?
The campuses at Nottingham are fantastic. The buildings and green space on Jubilee campus make a wonderful space for walks and jogging. The libraries and cafes are excellent for studying and meeting with friends and the resources in the Medical School library are next to none. There is something for everyone at Nottingham!
What’s a typical day like on placement?
A typical day on placement can be long and tiring and it will often leave your head spinning but regardless of the day you’ve had it will always be rewarding and you will always surprise yourself with just how much you’ve learnt! The midwives you work with will always make you feel part of the team and they love to see you getting stuck in and learning as you go.
You will get to see the day to day reality of midwifery in the current NHS; its highs, its lows, its merits and its challenges. We are privileged in that we will get to see the start of significant changes to the midwifery model of care during our time as students. Make sure you have some comfortable shoes for placement, your feet will thank you later!
Any favourite modules and why did you enjoy these?
I only have a couple of modules under my belt to compare but the Normal Midwifery Practice in Contemporary Society is a fantastic module. It’s a fabulous balance of biology and midwifery practice that knits together to give a bigger picture of the midwifery basics we use every day in caring for our women.
Do you get involved in extracurricular activities outside of your studies?
Studying with a toddler at home does not leave me with much time for extracurricular activities unfortunately! Many of the girls from my course manage to fit extracurricular activities in such as netball and rugby! I do however take part in the Nottingham Advantage Award where I get the opportunity to be a student ambassador for the university – this is an additional award that you might choose to undertake which is included on your transcript at the end of your degree.
Any tips for midwifery students joining us in September?
Invest in a huge comfy backpack, you’re going to need it!
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and take each day, each week, each module as it comes.
Keep an open mind and get stuck in, there’s so many people that wish they could be in your position so try to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.