January 10, 2012
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Before you embark on any career direction it is usually a good idea to get some work-experience in that area, and midwifery is no exception to that rule! Training to become a midwife involves completion of a degree programme which will take you a minimum of 3 years – some can take even longer – and you don’t want to get to the end of this only to find that midwifery is not everything you had ever dreamed it was! It is not all working with bonny bouncing babies and their happy cooing parents, and a suitable work experience placement should lay out for you all the positive and negative aspects of the role – the “warts and all” version – to enable you to decide whether or not midwifery is the career for you, before you commit yourself.
Another benefit of a midwifery work-experience placement is that it enables you to stand out from a crowd of other university applicants all looking to secure themselves a future in what has become quite a competitive industry in recent years. And it is by no means easy to obtain midwifery experience in a domestic setting; since setting up we have had a stream of enquiries from people looking to do exactly that but having come up against a brick wall. The problem is that – as with any healthcare area – staff are often stretched pretty much to capacity, and find it incredibly hard to take on an untrained person, who is essentially only there to learn from them, rather than support them.
Of course, within the midwifery community – as with the medical profession – there has always been a strong ethos surrounding the provision of training and work-experience opportunities for aspiring healthcare professionals. As a result you are bound to find people who, despite their busy schedules, are willing to offer you some sort of placement. However, this is often the point at which you hit this brick wall, as the various issues surrounding insurance, confidentiality, health & safety legislation, and a hundred-and-one other things start cropping up, eventually leading them to conclude that it really isn’t worth the bother after all!
If you really want to have some experience of what Midwifery is like, and don’t want to wait until you are a university student before you get the chance, then Gap Medics may be exactly the organisation that you have been looking for. We can cut straight through the problems, issues and layers of bureaucracy that you would have to face and provide you with an incredible Midwifery work-experience placement at the end of it, in a fascinating, exotic destination. Our Tanzania programme in particular is perfect for aspiring midwives. We work with a number of hospitals out there, with skilled professionals working on busy maternity wards, without access to the sort of resources that their midwifery equivalents would have in your own country.
This really is midwifery laid bare. You will experience everything that a Tanzanian midwife goes through, as you shadow your supervisor throughout their working week. In the evenings you return to our local Gap Medics house where you will be able to share your experiences with aspiring students of other healthcare professions, from around the world. And on the weekends you will be able to travel to some of the most incredible tourist destinations that Africa has to offer, such as Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Zanzibar archipelago!