The importance of a positive birth experience on the physical and emotional health of a mother must be the paramount focus of a midwife. Having gained personal experience – through supporting my mother through two pregnancies and postnatal periods – I would cherish the opportunity to be an advocate for mothers at this most special, but potentially distressing, time in their lives. Although the biological process of birth itself has not changed, the dynamic profession of Midwifery is in a continuous state of development and innovation. For example, recent years have seen a renewed focus on the importance of breastfeeding for both maternal and infant health, and there has been increased opportunities for mothers when considering birthing choices, such as water births, elective caesareans and hypno-birthing.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council recognise the ever-changing profession of Midwifery by requiring Midwives to re-validate every three years as part of Continuing Professional Development. I am passionate at the prospect of working within such a progressive and challenging field. Studying the CACHE Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care has allowed me to expand my knowledge of health care practice from my basic knowledge at GCSE. This was prominent through Unit 9 – Reflective Practice, where the importance of Continuing Professional Development was highlighted. The first assignment required me to understand the core values of The Nursing and Midwifery Council, whilst enforcing their importance in Midwifery practice. A unit particularly relevant to working in public services was Unit 1 – Equality, Diversity and Rights. Not only did this unit focus on legislations, such as The Equality Act 2010, it encouraged me to reflect on my own personal experiences of discrimination, from being both a female and part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Working as a midwife will involve supporting and respecting women and their birth partners from different cultures, sexualities, religions, ethnicities and beliefs. This links back to the Continuing Professional Development as society is also ever-changing, so good professional practice must reflect and evolve with this. Respect, dignity and compassion are core skills needed in providing high quality health care. Through my placement at Vision25cic, a small charity created in caring for young adults with severe mental disabilities, such as Autism, Down’s Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy, I have taken advantage of developing these qualities, allowing me to utilise and strengthen my skill set in real-life situations. It has also provided me with insight into how everyone’s needs are different, allowing me to practice holistic care.
From completing 415 hours of placement across two years and in three different organisations; Rosebrook Primary School, North Tees Hospital, and Vision25cic, I have developed skills in leadership and teamwork. This is through having to plan activities and care around a person’s individual needs whilst working within multidisciplinary teams. Team work is an important part of the Midwifery practice; as multiple midwives can be in the delivery room at one time.
Therefore, I feel as though these placements have prepared me for essential team work in Midwifery practice. Balancing college, placement, a part-time job, as well as medical appointments has prepared me for the long hours and stressful schedule that comes with practicing Midwifery. These commitments have demanded a large amount of my time, which has required me to balance my time effectively, ensuring that my placement hours have been completed, my assignments are in on time, and I’m punctual and prepared for every work shift. This has qualified me for university life whilst teaching me essential organisational and prioritisation skills.
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