September 3, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Being a midwife is a unique role that is demanding and carries plenty of responsibility. Midwives are not just restricted to caring for individual expectant mothers. An increasing number of midwives now work in the community, providing essential services in a range of settings, from local clinics and GP surgeries to women’s homes and children’s centres. Working in a hospital is still the most predominant, where plenty of opportunities exist for midwives to work in a vast range of settings, from antenatal, postnatal and labour wards to neonatal units.
To become a midwife you have to first complete your professional education at degree level. Some midwives may be qualified nurses who have elected to change career direction and undertake the additional courses that are necessary to be registered as a midwife. Others may begin their career by working their way up via diverse roles, such as support roles that do not require any formal qualifications, before going on to study for a registered midwifery degree.
In the UK, you can either complete an approved midwifery degree course or you can take a midwifery short programme. Both of these routes lead to registration with the NMC or the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Registration with the NMC is essential to be able to practice as a midwife.
These degree and short courses are known as pre-registration programmes.
Once you’ve successfully completed your pre-registration programme and registered with the NMC, you are considered fully qualified to work as a midwife. With some experience, you can look to develop your career further. This may involve further study and training to keep up to date with rapidly advancing technology and a constantly changing healthcare landscape. This will be required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and encouraged by your employer.