Amy - Midwifery at Glenside Campus

Glenside campus is pretty, after a morning lecture I like to relax out on the grass. Also I like that we are a little independent campus, all health and social care courses are held here, so everything including the library is geared towards us. I like to go to the Students' Union for lunch whenever I’m around as it’s nice and cheap. I also go to comedy nights they put on every couple of months. The social life is really good at UWE Bristol, there are always things being organised.

Why UWE Bristol

Initially I’ve always wanted to go into a nursing or health professional field but wasn’t sure which area until I came to an Open Day at UWE Bristol.  I spoke to a lecturer who told me all about the midwifery course and it was something that really interested me. Before starting I just needed to get some extra experience so worked as a volunteer looking after sick children at Bristol’s Children’s hospital. I think it’s an amazing process how you go from two cells to having a baby. I decided to come to UWE Bristol as it’s close to home and it has got a good reputation.

The Course

The course is a lot more intense than I expected but very rewarding.  You are on placement quite a lot, they build up over the three years. Initially it’s a real learning curve, trying to finish work whilst out on placement. You have to have good time management skills. The placements are really varied and cover a number of different areas, so one week is totally different to the next. You definitely need the placements to reinforce what you’ve learnt and develop your skills. At Glenside we’ve done a couple of practical sessions in the clinical skills suite, taking blood and putting venfloms into dummy hands. The library also lends us equipment to practice on.

The Placements

In our first year we did a placement in gynaecological wards and in theatre which was quite interesting.  I’ve also gone out with the community midwives and there we were involved with homebirths, clinics and postnatal appointments. I like being out in the community, the continuative care is nice because you build up relationships. I’ve also had placements in the central delivery suite in a main obstetric hospital, where you get lots of high risk deliveries so it could be twins or triplets or someone undergoing a stillbirth. We also go to postnatal and antenatal wards and do a little bit in the foetal medicine unit as well which is usually to do with babies who are poorly in uterus or that have complications. I think it is really important to be involved in that as a student. In that situation it is your responsibility to stay calm and be really supportive.

My first birth ever was a homebirth and I didn’t know what to expect!  It was lovely as the mother had everything exactly as she wanted and it was really calm and she even had fairy lights on. It was a good first experience as it all went exactly to plan. Since then I have been involved with some complicated deliveries. It’s quite scary but you do get a lot of support, you would never be asked to manage anything complicated on your own. You get allocated a mentor to work with all the time, they are really supportive. As students we witness about 5 deliveries before we deliver a baby ourselves. 

Student Life

Glenside campus is pretty, after a morning lecture I like to relax out on the grass. Also I like that we are a little independent campus, all health and social care courses are held here, so everything including the library is geared towards us. I like to go to the Student Union for lunch whenever I’m around as it’s nice and cheap. I also go to comedy nights they put on every couple of months. The social life is really good at UWE Bristol, there are always things being organised.

The Future

I have in fact been offered a job at St Michael’s Hospital where I have been mainly on placement. They have a really supportive network and even though I am making my own decisions, initially there are people that I can call upon for advice and help so I’m not totally on my own. Once I become a qualified midwife I hope to consolidate everything I have learnt from UWE Bristol and placements and try to become an independent practitioner. It can be quite scary, because as midwives we are expected to make our own decisions. If anything deviates from normal we refer onto the doctors but we are ultimately reliable for our own decisions.

There are opportunities for midwives to travel the world. There are lots of jobs in New Zealand and Australia at the moment. I would really like to go to New Zealand for a year to work, just because I think it would be a really good experience. You can travel world wide with this qualification. 

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