Chibuzo is a third year Midwifery student and mother of two. She’s enjoyed being able to join women on their journeys into motherhood from beginning to end.
How did you develop an interest in your course and why did you choose to study this course?
Midwifery is an exciting area and it is an honour to work with women, empowering them through a transformative time in their lives.
Also supporting their families is so satisfying for me. I am fascinated by pregnancy and child birth and passionate about advocating for women.
How have you found the teaching and facilities on your course?
The academic staff have been really helpful, especially during the pandemic, they ensured students still continues to get the knowledge they needed. The restrictions affected a lot, but the clinical skill laboratories were made available for learning, especially when we were preparing for objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).
The library is well stock with literature relevant to each aspect of the course, and the librarians are always available to support students. You can book an appointment with them for your support, so I used this facility plenty when I was writing my dissertation.
Where have you been on your clinical placements, and what have you enjoyed most about these experiences?
I’ve been placed at Newham University Hospital since my first year, and the placement experience has been great.
The placement is the foundation of the course, which incorporates plenty of practical learning as there are so many things you cannot learn in the classroom. Every hospital has a clinical practice facilitator (CPF), who plays an important role in supporting the student during their placement period.
Additionally, I have been lucky to have great midwife supervisors, who have really helped to advance my learning and build my confidence. I have been everywhere in the Maternity Department at our hospital, from the beginning of a client's pregnancy booking appointments to antenatal clinics during labour. I've enjoyed the continuity of care as a student and would try to facilitate as much as possible.
Being able to develop a professional relationship with a woman and their families and having the opportunity to be with them through their journey into motherhood has been amazingly fulfilling.
Have you overcome any challenges during your studies?
The dissertation module and essays were challenging, but having the opportunity to really look into an area that is of interest was great. At the beginning of the program, each student is allocated a personal tutor and link lecturer from the School. If we need to speak to them about anything, they will do their best to listen and help.
The placement experience is demanding and can be stressful along with having to meet academic commitments, but this is the nature of the programme. However, throughout my time on the course, I found ways to manage my time to make it work best for me.
I was pregnant during my first year, so I paused my studies for a year before returning to the course. It was really challenging combining my studies, childcare, house chores and placement.
However, it gave me strength and motivation knowing that I’m doing what will make me happy for the rest of my life, and the impact I will make on the lives of the women and their families.
What kind of things are you involved in outside of your course?
Outside of my studies, I get involved in lots of other activities, including childcare as I am a mum of two. Doing so many house chores, helping the kids with their own school work, shopping and lots more keeps me quite busy.
During my first year I was working part-time alongside studying, all while pregnant. After having my baby, I decided to concentrate on my studies and have more time to look after my children because it was really difficult combining studies with work and childcare.
What are your plans for after you graduate?
I’ve already got a job at one of the NHS Trusts and will be working there as a midwife after I graduate. I also plan to further my career by studying on a midwifery specialty area for my MSc.
I will be doing that in about 2 years of working as a midwife, this is to be able to gain more experience and be more competent in practice before leaving for my study.
What would be your advice to anyone considering studying this course?
I’d advise those that are considering studying midwifery to remain confident and focused as this will not only help them throughout the course but also in their interview.
Try to stay on top of things by managing your time appropriately, but don’t stress too much, look after yourself and seek help and support when you need it. Support is always available within the school.
I would also suggest finding a hobby and try to stick to it. It can be hard with the time pressures on the course to have a normal routine, but always do what you can do and remain strong bearing in mind what you will achieve at the end of the course.
Taking part in anything that gives you half an hour of happiness, and is non-midwifery related is super important.
Keep focused and remain strong!