A midwife is the lead health professional in pregnancy. Providing support and care from pre-conception, all the way to up to 28 days after the birth of the baby. A good midwife is personable, trustworthy, funny, well-informed, and someone new mothers can depend on in their times of need.
Midwives are the main point of contact for expectant parents. They provide evidence-based information and advice that will help them navigate their pregnancy and prepare for motherhood. Should an expectant mother need to call the midwife for help of any kind, the midwife will assist them so they can make informed choices about the options and services available throughout pregnancy.
A midwife’s sole focus is on the mother and baby, ensuring they are both healthy. They have a duty of care to their clients during their journey to motherhood. Helping them to adjust from not having a baby, to suddenly having this little life that they are responsible for. Which is a huge transition for any new parent to make.
A good midwife is made up of a mix of certain personality traits and academic skills. You would need to be educated, yet likeable, knowledgeable but easy-going. As well as independent, yet able to act well as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
If you are considering a career as a midwife, it’s worthwhile finding out what the personality traits and academic skills of a good midwife are ahead of time. So you can be as prepared for the midwifery roles and responsibilities as you can be once you begin seeking employment.
Personality Traits of a Good Midwife
Although a requirement to be a midwife, academic qualifications are not everything. To be a successful midwife, there are also many character traits that you need to possess.
A midwife is someone who needs to remain calm in stressful situations, putting others at ease. And since many births have challenges or complications, a reassuring, caring nature is essential to have a successful midwifery career.
The ability to communicate effectively is also necessary for midwives. As you are directing someone through possibly the hardest and most painful event of their adult life, you will need to communicate instructions clearly and concisely in the case of a medical emergency or complication. As such, you’ll also need to be able to cope with distressing situations as a midwife.
Your people skills are crucial as you will be required to answer questions and offer advice. Expectant parents are trusting you to safely deliver their most prized possession, so, as a midwife, you need to be personable enough to build a strong, positive relationship.
As a midwife, your sense of humour will also be tested every single day. People in stressful situations tend to use comedy and humour as a coping mechanism. Making someone laugh or smile can often help to diffuse any tension.
Another crucial character trait of a successful midwife is having emotional and mental resilience. You may deal with situations that you find difficult, and emotionally separating yourself from these situations is essential.
Attention to detail is also necessary for midwives. As you need to observe and monitor your patients to ensure they are receiving the appropriate and correct care.
A successful midwife also possesses the ability to act on their own initiative. In the case of a medical emergency or any complications, you would need to be able to act fast and efficiently.
Alongside these, some other necessary personality traits for midwives are:
- Willingness to take responsibility
Working to the best of your ability
In your midwifery role, you will be working with people from various backgrounds daily. So you will need to be confident enough to communicate with people who have different ways of thinking. Some mothers and their families may be socially excluded, have disabilities or be very young. Others may be from certain cultural or religious backgrounds with dissimilar beliefs, which you would need to understand and respect as it’s your job as a midwife to help them without any judgment.
Academic Skills of a Good Midwife
As a midwife, you are required to be qualified to practice, as there’s a lot of knowledge you need to have. You will need to gain an understanding of the emotional, physical, and psychological processes of pregnancy and birth. Which you will learn through your midwifery training and qualification.
Every person who qualifies as a midwife must then register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). This is a necessity if you want to practice as a midwife within the UK.
To register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, you will have needed to complete an approved pre-registration midwifery degree. This degree takes three years to complete, full-time.
Part-time midwifery courses are also available. If you are working in a relevant role and want to make the career switch, you can do so without having to give up work entirely. These part-time midwifery degrees typically take around five to six years to complete in full.
Your midwifery degree will be made up of practical work and theoretical study. Half of your time would be spent in university studying the theory of being a midwife. And the other half of your time would be based within practical midwifery placements. Providing you with the hands-on experience you need for employment.
A satisfactory health clearance and disclosure and barring service check (DBS) are essential for acceptance onto a midwifery degree. However, having a criminal conviction or caution does not automatically bar you from working as an NHS midwife.
Studying for a midwifery university degree also allows you an entitlement to at least £5000 a year towards your studies whilst at university. However, your personal circumstances may mean you could receive more. What’s more, you will never have to pay it back!
To be accepted onto an NMC approved pre-registration midwifery degree, you would need to meet the entry requirements of your desired institution. Not all universities have the same entry requirements, as they set their own. So, you will need to check with the university in which you would like to attend.
Typically, midwifery universities would be looking for the following:
- A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C) or above, usually including English, Maths, and one of the Science subjects
- Two or three A Levels or equivalent
The NHS and education sector encourage applications from people with a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications. Some examples of qualifications that may be considered broadly equivalent to five GCSEs include:
- Five CSEs
- Five SCE (Scotland)
- GNVQ intermediate level plus one GCSE/GCS O Level
Examples of qualifications that may be considered broadly equivalent to two A Levels include:
- GNVQ advanced level or NVQ Level 3
- SVQ Level 3
- GSVQ Level 3 (Scotland)
- Edexcel Foundation (BTEC) National or higher national diploma
- OCR Cambridge Technical – Health and Social Care at level 3
- Access to Higher Education Diploma
Study Midwifery Online
An Access to Higher Education Diploma is the ideal equivalent to A Levels for those who do not hold the relevant qualifications. And with modules on study skills for university, it’s ideal for those who have been out of full-time education a fair amount of time.
An Access to HE Diploma can give you between 48 and 144 UCAS tariff points towards your university entry, dependent on your final grade. Which is equivalent to 3 A Levels.
An Access to HE Diploma (Midwifery) is developed by subject and industry experts. It provides you with the detailed introduction you would need to study a degree in midwifery, as you will learn the roles of the midwife, and study relevant topics like Biology and Physiology.
There are also units covering the social factors impacting health, human nutrition and the digestive system. Another unit will provide you with an introduction to Psychology. All of which will benefit you as a midwife.
The Access to HE Diploma is designed for people who are heading to university. Therefore, two units are assigned to prepare you for the level of study required for university.
This Access to midwifery course can also be studied entirely online. So you can work your way towards a midwifery degree without having to sacrifice any of your current commitments. Or change your already established schedule.
learndirect is the UK’s leading distance provider, helping thousands of students each year achieve their potential and reach their goals.
Find out how our Access to HE Diploma (Midwifery) will help you become a midwife by clicking the link below.