Case study

Trainee midwife — Jasmine Toynton

Jasmine is enjoying learning about all aspects of a woman's care during pregnancy and postnatal while studying BSc (Hons) Midwifery at Birmingham City University

Why did you decide to train to be a midwife?

I wanted to become a midwife because it's an opportunity to make a difference by giving choices to women from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Midwifery is a vocation and a privilege.

Why did you choose this course and this institution?

I chose Birmingham City University as in addition to the degree they provide extra qualifications - baby friendly initiative (BFI) and newborn infant physical examination (NIPE). When I attended my interview the staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and made me feel at ease. Students on the course also displayed enthusiasm for the university. Birmingham is a diverse city with people of all beliefs and cultures, which makes it a good base for learning how women from different cultures act during pregnancy, childbirth and the nurturing of their children.

Tell us about the course…

The course involves a mixture of placements, exams (written and practical), essays and lectures. Birmingham City University undertake block placements which are for five-week periods. This means that you don’t attend any lectures at university and just attend your allocated placement area. The year you're in shapes how many placement blocks you do and in which areas. For example in year one you do two five-week placements on delivery suite and community. This increases to four five-week blocks in year two in areas such as delivery suite, postnatal ward, antenatal ward/clinic and neonatal unit/gynaecology. Then in your third year you do four five-week stints in delivery suite/birth centre, community, postnatal ward and antenatal ward/clinic.

How are you funding your course?

I receive a loan from Student Finance England, which pays my tuition fees and provides me with a maintenance loan based on my household income.

What are the advantages of studying to be a midwife?

I get to learn about all aspects of a woman's care during pregnancy and postnatal, together with that of her baby. Midwifery is so much more than the safe delivery of babies. It is about the mother's general health and mental wellbeing, which will help her to nurture her child to the best of her abilities having received good advice and guidance from well-trained midwives. I also get great exposure to maternity services and worthwhile learning experiences on my placements.

What are the challenges?

  • Less social time with friends and family (due to shift working)
  • Lack of money as it is hard to work alongside doing your degree (not impossible though)
  • Physically and emotionally intense.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?

I hope to gain a job as a midwife within the trust I am currently training in. I hope this will then lead on to me becoming a specialist midwife (mental health/teenage pregnancy) or consultant midwife.

What areas of work could you go into as a result of your training?

  • Further education
  • Midwifey (continuity of care, hospital based or community based)
  • Further training to become a specialist midwife (e.g. mental health, teenage pregnancy, FGM etc.)
  • Private sector
  • Overseas opportunities.

What tips would you give to others considering a midwifery course?

  • It involves three years of hard work so you really need to consider if it's omething that you definitely want to do
  • Make sure you are organised and have good time management
  • Learn how to balance your social life with course/placement demands
  • Keep yourself healthy to help cope with coursework deadlines and the demands of long shifts
  • Within your busy schedule, make sure you factor in time for yourself.

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