A midwife is the first point of contact for expectant or new parents. They are on-hand to provide support and care from pre-conception, all the way up to 28 days after the birth of the baby. A successful midwife is personable, well-informed, trustworthy, funny and someone new mothers can depend on.
As a midwife, you would provide evidence-based information and advice to help expectant parents through their journey to parenthood. In addition to helping them to make the all important choices regarding the options and services available to them on this journey.
A good midwife is made up of certain personality traits and academic skills. You would need to be well-educated and personable. As well as possess the ability to work as part of a team and independently.
If you’ve decided this is the career path for you, there are certain steps you’ll need to follow to become a certified midwife. And to help you know where to start, we’ve detailed each of these below.
Do you Have the Relevant Personality Traits?
To be a successful midwife, there are many character traits that you need to possess.
A midwife is someone who needs to remain calm in stressful situations, putting others at ease. This and a caring nature is essential to have a successful midwifery career.
The ability to communicate effectively is also a necessity. You are directing someone through possibly the hardest and most painful event in their adult life. Communicating clear instructions clearly and concisely in the case of a medical emergency or complication is essential. As such, you will need to be able to cope with distressing situations.
Your people skills are crucial, you will be required to answer questions and offer advice. Expectant parents are trusting you to safely deliver their most prized possession. So, you need to be personable enough to build a strong and positive relationship.
As a midwife, your sense of human needs to be in top shape. People in stressful situations usually use humour or comedy as a way of coping. Making someone crack a smile or laugh can more often than not help to diffuse a tense situation.
Emotional and mental resilience is a crucial trait for any successful midwife. You will, without a doubt, deal with situations that you find difficult. And being able to emotionally separate yourself from these situations is so important.
You will be observing and monitoring your patients to ensure that they are receiving the appropriate and correct care. Attention to detail is imperative in this case.
A successful midwife also possesses the ability to act on their own initiative. You would need to be able to act fast and efficiently, in the case of a medical emergency or any complications.
As well as the above, some other necessary personality traits to have are patience, maturity, and willingness to take responsibility. As well as good listening skills and the ability to counsel if needs be.
What else do You Need?
To practice as a midwife, you need the relevant qualifications and registration. As there is a lot of knowledge you need to have to perform such an important role effectively. You have to have an understanding of the emotional, physical, and psychological processes of pregnancy and birth. And these aspects and more are taught through your midwifery studies and training.
You need to complete an approved pre-registration degree. This typically takes around three years to complete, full-time. Although, part time courses are available.
If you are working in a relevant role and want to make the career switch, you can do so without having to sacrifice giving up work entirely. These part-time degrees typically take around five to six years to complete.
Your degree will be made up of practical work and theoretical study. Half of your time will be spent in university, studying the theory of becoming a midwife. The other half of your time would be based within practical settings. Giving you the hands-on experience you need to go into employment.
Upon successful completion of your degree, you would then need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). An absolute necessity if you want to practice as a midwife within the UK. You can only register with the NMC after completing an approved pre-registration degree.
What’s more, you are studying for a university degree in field that is healthcare related. This allows you an entitlement to at least £5000 a year towards your studies whilst at university. However, dependent on your personal circumstances, you may receive more. What’s even better, you will never have to pay it back.
But What do you Need to Be Accepted onto a Degree?
A satisfactory health clearance, along with a disclosure and barring service check (DBS) are essential to be accepted onto a degree. However, having a criminal conviction or caution does not automatically stop you from working within the NHS.
To be accepted onto an NMC approved pre-registration degree, you would need to meet the entry requirements of your desired institution. It is worth bearing in mind that not all universities have the same entry requirements, as typically, they set their own. So, you would need to check the requirements with the university you would like to attend before applying.
However, typically, most universities would be looking for certain combination of qualifications. These include:
- 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
However, 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 (Prior to GCSEs)
- 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 perfect equivalent to A Levels for those who do not hold the relevant qualifications. With modules on study skills for university, it’s ideal for those who have been out of education for some time.
An Access to HE Diploma can give you between 48 and 144 UCAS tariff points towards your university entry, dependant on your final grade. Which is equivalent to 3 A Levels.
An Access to Higher Education Diploma (Midwifery) is developed by subject experts. Providing you with the detailed introduction you need to study a degree in midwifery.
You will learn the roles of the midwife and study relevant topics like Biology and Physiology. There are units that cover 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 in your career as a midwife.
The diploma can also be studied entirely online. Allowing you to work your way towards a degree without having to sacrifice any of your current commitments. Or change your already established schedule.
learndirect is the UK’s leading distance learning provider. Helping thousands of students each and every year to achieve their potential and reach their goals.
Find out how our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Midwifery) will help you become a midwife by clicking below.