Choosing York for me, was absolutely the right choice. I really have enjoyed every module, placement and moment so far. I have written a blog of some of the things you can look forward to if you do decide to study Midwifery at York!
When the midwifery lecturers say your time at university goes fast, they certainly aren’t telling tales! It is amazing how much you will learn and how quickly this first year will pass. First year is all about normality in midwifery. Learning how all the body systems adapt and change, plus so much more. You will spend time in the clinical simulation unit (CSU), where you will learn; intramuscular injections, blood taking, observations, abdominal palpation, aseptic techniques, plus much more. The midwifery lecturers are all lovely, each coming from different backgrounds within midwifery. They are all highly experienced and skilled midwives themselves. Many lectures during the first year are taught by other lecturers from the health sciences department, each of them very knowledgeable and supportive!
As well as the lectures in first year you also have placement to look forward to! At York we have a block placement programme, this means that we spend block weeks in university and then block weeks in practice. This enables you to really focus on both aspects of the programme without the interruption of having both in one week! I remember my first day at university, when I was given a copy of our three year programme plan. I was so excited that we were due to be out on placement so quickly! This helped us put our new skills and knowledge in to practice while it was still fresh. I remember being so excited to be out on placement, working with midwives and caring for real women.
Gaining these experiences early on in the programme, helped boost my confidence and further fuelled my enthusiasm in becoming a midwife! We spent the first half of first year in the community. We participated in antenatal and postnatal clinics and also postnatal home visits. During this placement, you will have the opportunity to further develop skills. You will learn observations and abdominal palpations, while gaining skills in performing antenatal and postnatal examinations. The second half of first year is then spent in the hospital. Placement within the hospital can vary but there is so much to learn in all areas of maternity care. You can care for women antenatally, postnatally, in triage, day assessment units and on the labour ward.
Also, in first year you will have a placement within adult nursing. This placement gives you greater opportunity to apply to practice basic nursing clinical skills. While on my placement I had the opportunity to be more involved in drug rounds with the nurses. I gained an insight into all the different medications they used. This also gave me a better understanding of the drug cards and how they are read and completed. I was also able to develop my skills in caring for unwell patients, by assessing levels of pain and looking for signs of infections.
Now I’m in second year we are bringing together all that theory knowledge from first year. Gaining a deeper understanding which is enabling us to give effective midwifery care. We recently spent time in the CSU learning theory and practical skills for suturing. I really enjoyed that session and it has given me the skills and theory I need while on placement. We are currently on placement in our away trust, which I have really enjoyed. I have had the opportunity to work in triage, which is an area my home trust placement doesn’t have. This has enabled me to gain so much confidence, apply the theory that I have learnt so far and put it into practice in so many different ways.
We are all getting so excited about our elective placements coming up this summer. Elective placement gives you the opportunity to work in maternity care in another hospital, either locally or in other parts of the UK. Some students in my cohort are even planning trips abroad. Where they will work with midwives in places like New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. Students from previous cohorts have also visited Nepal, the world literally is your oyster 😉. I have a young family so going abroad for me isn’t really feasible so I am taking the opportunity to have a placement at the hospital trust in my home town. This is where I would love to work once qualified! I’m sure I will gain a varity of great learning opportunities in the busy midwife-led and consultant-led units.
Midwifery Society (MidSoc)
Along with many other societies you can join while at York, we have our very own midwifery society. The student-run society is gives each cohort the opportunity to run it while in second year. There are also lots of opportunities to volunteer on study days and events. The society offers support and encouragement for all cohorts. Last year MidSoc put on a Baby Loss and Bereavement Care conference, where we had the opportunity to hear from many speakers and stalls from charities that provide memory boxes.
This year the society is planning more study days, they are always welcoming of ideas on study days to hold so get in touch if there is something you have in mind. You can also join the society’s Facebook page to keep up to date with any upcoming events.
I hope this has given you a good insight in Midwifery at York and I hope this will help you make York your choice!