Shadowing a DoctorNovember 27, 2013
The primary role of a midwife is to help in preparing women to deliver a new life. A midwife’s presence is vital through all the stages of pregnancy, during the course of labour and well into the early post-natal period. Apart from the satisfaction that the job brings, a midwife’s role is unique and demanding and one that carries a lot of responsibility.
A midwife’s role is not restricted to delivering babies. The job also involves antenatal and post natal care, counselling, supporting and educating the woman as well her family members. The midwife helps couples prepare for parenthood.
Diverse Work Places & Career Options
Today, a large number of midwives do significant work within the community, providing their services to local clinics, women’s homes, GP surgeries and children’s centres. They also have the option to take up a hospital-based job. In a hospital setting, midwives get numerous opportunities to work in the antenatal and labour as well as the postnatal wards. Specialist nurses can also work in neonatal units.
As a midwife, your qualifications and midwifery experience will open up a range of options for career development and you can choose the path that suits you best. Even as you gain more knowledge and experience you can transition to senior practitioner roles. You can opt to specialize in a specific prenatal care area and also study for additional qualifications that will allow you to advance and carry your profession forward. Another option is to be attached to a university where you can train future midwives.
If you choose to continue being in practice, you can also consider taking up the role of a consultant midwife or you can become a unit or a team manager, where you will be directly involved with clinics and will manage other staff as well.
Alternatively, you can move into professions such as health visiting or neonatal nursing. Health visitors work in the community and with families in their homes and focus on caring for small children. Neonatal nurses focus on the care and treatment of women and babies with various health complications around birth.
The role of a midwife is a very satisfying one and there is also a lot of scope to develop your career. This job gives you the chance to enhance the lives of people in times of need.
Studying To Become A Midwife
If you are interested in becoming a midwife, you will have to go through professional education at a degree level. Some midwives are also qualified nurses who have opted to switch careers. They undertake extra studies and get the required registration to work as a midwife. Many midwives start their careers by climbing the rungs of the ladder via a variety of roles. They may initially work in support roles that do not necessitate that they have any specific qualification and then move on to studying midwifery to earn a registered degree.