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Am I too old to train as a midwife?

We all know that age is just a number, but sometimes you might think that you have ‘missed the boat’ when it comes to thinking about a change of career.

From the moment you realise that your dream job is to be a midwife you need to work on making the dream to reality. But for some people, concerns about their age can stand in their way.

When life gets in the way

Whether you have worked many years in the same job, you’ve waited for your children to start school or leave home, or whether it is something that you’ve always wanted to do but its never seemed like the right time… age should not be a reason not to pursue your dream. With the sad realisation that we are all going to be working until we are older, surely its better to do that in a job that we love and that is rewarding.

Could you be a mature student?

To ‘qualify’ as a mature student, all you need is to be is over the age of 21(!)

Midwifery doesn’t just appeal to a specific age group; school leavers to grandparents all apply and all have different, valuable skills to bring to the profession.

Common concerns

There are common fears about training, especially many years after doing any study. These might be:

 
Will I be able to write an essay?

Everyone, regardless of age, worries about whether they can write an essay. The good news is how much help and support there is at university. Learning how to write an essay is like following a recipe and each time it will become easier, your confidence grows and you start to understand the process. As you learn more on the job, you’ll have more of an opinion depending on your experience and this helps with the writing too. Referencing is often the part that most people worry about. Again, once you know ‘how to do it’ it isn’t something to worry about anymore. Your student group will all work together, helping each other and being like a mini-family, pulling through the tough times and celebrating the happy times.

How will I cope with the shift work?

Shift work for some can be a bit of a shock to the system. Often it’s the thought of being up all night that is worse than actually being awake. You’ll find your way of coping, whether its snacking, coffee, having a nap before your shift, whatever works best for you. It is always good to get some work experience before applying, so whether that is volunteering or getting a job as a maternity support worker, if you are worried about how you will cope with shift work, give it a go before you apply!

Do I have the right qualifications?

This is a very common worry. Whether you have O-Levels, GSCE’s or other qualifications then have a look at whether you have the right number of points to apply. For those that have been out of study for a longer period of time, you may find that an Access course gives the up-to-date study skills and provides the qualification needed to apply. This is often part time and can be completed within a year.

Have I left it too late?

It’s never too late! There is so much support for everyone who trains. Universities expect you to need support with writing, referencing and getting back into study. Being a mature student means that you will bring plenty of life experience to being a midwife. Make sure you reflect this fully within your personal statement.

You can adapt a wide range of work experience to show its relevance to midwifery once you know the tricks how. It’s all about making it flow and telling the story of why you have realised that midwifery is now for you.

And just remember, you will find that your student group will have a varying age range from school leavers to those in their 50’s; age really is irrelevant as you are all in the same boat.

Article written by Emily Seddon

Emily is a midwife with many years of experience. She is passionate about supporting midwives of the future. As a clinical mentor, student link and being on university interview panels, she knows what it takes to get a place!

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