Midwifery Year One: Review

Year 1 is officially over and like I did for Medicine, I wanted to write up a year review for my first year studying Midwifery. It may seem like a little bit of a strange time to post this but I'm actually in a cohort that started in January so my year runs January to December.
First year wasn't like anything I expected. Honestly, I don't really know what I expected. I went into my first day with no preconceptions and ready to do what needed to be done.

Studying Midwifery was very much a last minute decision. I went from studying Medicine, finding out I'd failed my third year resit exams and getting a place in Midwifery in the space of a week. Obviously, it was a little shocking at first but after a few days, I really wanted to jump straight into the next think and honestly, I didn't want to waste anymore time. For all intents and purposes, 3 years went down the drain and that's a long time to not make any progress in life.

Anyway, I did end up getting a little bit of a break, with 3 months to myself thanks to the January start, but because of that experience, I didn't do too much research in advance of the course. The University of Nottingham was always my joint top choice for university for Medicine and as such, it was my first point of call for Midwifery, so I didn't feel like I needed to read up the course, already knowing what the final job entailed, I just told myself this was what needed to be done to get there. I think that was quite a unique perspective but for me it worked, and overall, I really enjoyed first year!

In terms of the actual course, it's split into theory and placement blocks. I absolutely love that because it gave me time to focus on purely the theory and then really enjoy the placement. Of course, there is still a little bit of work to do during placement but for the majority of the time you can just enjoy the experience.

The year starts with a module on compassion. Without being rude, it was an incredibly boring module. I understand why it was needed as part of the course but spending 6 weeks studying it is really hard. Then writing an essay to sum it all up... But it is a good way to start university life in terms of getting into the role of a university student and writing to the level of a first year student.

One of the nice things is that the module is peppered throughout with clinical skill components which although I'd done before, it's great to have some exposure (or re-exposure) before going out into practice.

Then comes the first placement, community! I'm going to write a whole blog post on the placements so bare with me for more details on that.

The second module is Contemporary Midwifery. It's one of those modules you think back to and you can't actually remember what it was about. It's a little about a lot to be honest. It teaches you all about antenatal care, postnatal care and care of the neonate. The way the year is organised means that you have the placement before the theory so you end up knowing a lot about the theory vocabulary before doing the module, making it a lot easier to understand. Plus, all the things in practice finally make sense as well. Once again, it's assessed by an essay, but this time, also a debate assessment too. Again, I'm going to write up a blog post about all the assessments so stay tuned for next week.

Back out to placement, this time ten weeks of labour suite, separated by the final module, Normal Childbirth. I actually loved this module. It was everything I wanted from university and it actually challenged me. I loved learning all the biological and science aspects, which is area I've always excelled in and at the end of the day, that's my passion. The other modules I found really hard because they liked this and they were more of the "fluffy" topics. This module is assessed by the BIG EXAM, which I'll go into more detail later, but honestly, don't stress!

The year closes with a ward placement and I finished with the postnatal ward. But overall, I really enjoyed the year. I found it a lot easier than I ever expected and I felt bad for that because I know that a lot of people struggled. Despite having done what realistically is a much harder university course before, I still tried my hardest and it's defintely a completely different experience.

Midwifery has so far enabled me to have a social life as well as an academic life and I am so thankful for that. I didn't have to do much work during the theory weeks, but during Independent Study weeks (weeks purely to write and revise for assessments), I did work very hard and purely studied for the week, without leaving the house. Even during placement I managed to go to Archery at least twice a week, but usually three times!

To anyone starting Midwifery, good luck and have fun!

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