The 3 actions to take now to become a student midwife


Start your preparation today

This might sound obvious- but not doing this is the biggest mistake most of you will make. Its human nature to avoid thinking properly about an application until pretty close to the closing date. We’ve all got a lot of priorities to juggle and deadlines work for a reason! But for the small number of people who start getting their evidence, experience and practice in order early are far more likely to reap the rewards.

Bear in mind, we don’t learn to drive the week of our test, or start train for a 10k run the day before. So don’t leave your preparation to the last minute either!

Think beyond the baby!

It’s easy to focus on the parts of the job related to the baby and the birth, that’s often the part which attracted us in the first place. But the more thought you can give to all the other elements, the more realistic and practical you will come across.

As well as the care of the mother during the pregnancy there is another side to being a midwife which is just as important, and that’s YOU and how you think and react. When you are faced with a distressed parent it will be your unique personal approach which you rely on. When there is conflict at work it won’t be the policies but your personal handling of the situation which will make all the difference. It all comes down to what you are like as a person, and that’s the part we usually forget to shout loudly about.

So where does this fit in with your application and any assessment events you are invited to? You need to find out what you are good at and what you aren’t so good at. You need to reflect on this yourself, and you also need to ask other people. Make it easy for them to be honest by asking what they think your 3 top strengths are, and also the 3 things you could do better. Think about what you do and how you do it at work- what comes easy and what you struggle with. Reflecting on your skills, values and work styles will help you become a better applicant, and midwife.

Tidy up your writing

We’re not talking about your handwriting here, but the content of what you are writing. The first glimpse your assessors have into what you are like is through what you type into your application boxes. And most people don’t do this very well.

One of the biggest things you may struggle with is explaining yourself in enough detail.

For instance, you might complete an application form stating that you ‘work well with a team.’ Most applicants provide no further info about how they do this, so if you do, you have scored an easy point you’re your competition! Remember, there is no way anyone will know how you do things unless you explain it, in detail. Vague statements about ‘being helpful’ or ‘supporting others’ need to be backed up e.g. in what way have you done this in the past? How can you prove you are good at these things?

If I say to you that I am good at helping midwife hopefuls, how much better do you feel you know me? Not much I imagine. But if I tell you: ‘I helped someone who wanted to be a midwife to improve her application form. I reviewed her answers and wrote some sensitive feedback so she would feel encouraged and supported. I reassured her and explained she was doing very well but it wasn’t an easy task to get right…..’ you get the picture. Doesn’t this tell you a bit more about me? Can you see the difference explaining yourself can make?

Don’t worry if these ‘easy’ steps seem daunting! Help is at hand!

Our online course offers a fabulous, helpful and fascinating insight into life as a midwife, and will get your application to be accepted onto a course 100% on track.

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And don’t forget, support is just an email away.

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Hannah Vallance

Hannah is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist specialising in recruitment, selection and assessment. This means she designs and assesses at selection days just like the ones used for Midwifes, which is pretty handy experience for Midwife Career!

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