Diary of a Student Midwife – World Students’ Day

By Student Midwife, University of the West of Scotland, Helen Kaye

Hi, my name is Helen, and I am a second-year student midwife at University of the West of Scotland (UWS). I’ve been writing some blog posts for MIDIRS, sharing my experiences of life as a student midwife, intended to help current and aspiring student midwives alike. My twitter and Instagram handles are both @pathtomidwifery, feel free to get in touch and let us know what you would like to see from these blog posts.

Today, October 15th, marks World Students’ Day, a global celebration of students as the future. As part of these celebrations, and to show support for student midwives, I thought I would share my experience of being a student so far.

In what seems like a past life, I completed a Bachelor’s degree in French and Italian, which involved studying in France for a year. This decision to do this degree was your typical scenario – which subject are you best at in school? Languages? UCAS application submitted. After graduating from this degree, I decided to follow my heart and apply for midwifery. In hindsight, everything happens for a reason, as I gained invaluable life experience which I believe has given me the confidence to pursue my dream career, and I hope will make me a better midwife in future.

So, I’ve had experience of being a student in very different subjects, which comes with different teaching styles, learning environments and assessments. That being said, I can categorically say midwifery is a degree like no other. It really isn’t a vocation, it’s a lifestyle; midwifery becomes an intrinsic part of you from the moment you dedicate yourself to the art. And it really is an art; it is the skill of holistically assessing a situation in a few minutes; it is the deep connection formed with women at unforgettable moments in their life; it is the selflessness of dedicating a lifetime to advocating and caring for others.

We start curating these skills in our art form, even before day one as a student midwife. When we decide midwifery is where our passion lies, we give everything and more to secure a place on the competitive course. It is documented that there are 100 places for every 1000 applications, which proves the dedication and passion needed to grab a spot on the course.

There is a kind of stigma around being a student of nights out, missing classes, and just generally having a good time with new friends. Being a student is not always easy, and in my opinion is often underestimated. Most of the girls in my cohort hold down part time work, full time education, placement, as well as some having families and young children. I don’t know how they do it, they are superhuman, and the fact that they are on the course and juggling all these spinning plates just shows their passion for midwifery. I don’t think all of these factors in a student’s life are considered, it’s not easy and a small gesture of recognition for that goes a long way.

So, for World Students’ Day, let’s celebrate student midwives and their endless hard work and sacrifices made in honour of this career. Our passion has brought us here on our journey to becoming a midwife, there will be bumps in the road, but we will all get there. Student midwives, you are all superstars.