Shadowing a DoctorSeptember 3, 2014
Exploring future career options in midwifery
As a qualified midwife, your training and experience will open up a wide range of options to steer your career in the directions that interest you most. As your knowledge and expertise increase, you could opt to move into more senior practitioner roles after undergoing further training. You could become attached to a university and be involved in teaching future midwives or you could become a team manager where you could combine responsibility for managing other staff with ongoing hands-on involvement with patients.
You may also opt to specialise in a specific area of perinatal care and study for further qualifications. As part of this process you may carry out research that helps move the profession forward.
Another option is to move into other professions, such as health visiting or neonatal nursing. Health visitors work together with families in their homes and in the community, where they promote good health, paying particular attention to the health of young children.
Neonatal nurses specialise in the treatment and care of women and babies with health complications around birth. They help babies who are born prematurely get through the critical first few days after they are born.
As you get more experienced, your career could well move through various elements of teaching, research, practice development and management, including management at board level within an NHS trust. In such roles you could influence the shape of healthcare across a whole community.
Becoming a consultant midwife is yet another option. Consultant midwives are central to health service modernisation, helping to provide patients with services that are fast and convenient. They spend more than half their time working directly with patients, ensuring that people using the NHS continue to benefit from the very best midwifery skills. In addition, consultant midwives also contribute to the education, training and development of future midwives.
Consultant midwives are highly experienced registered midwives who specialise in a particular field of health care. Consultant roles vary widely, depending upon the employer’s requirements. However, irrespective of specific role, midwives working at this level are amongst the highest paid of their profession.
Return to midwifery after a break
If you’ve had to take a break for a while and are now ready to return to practice, you will find that it is not all that difficult. There are several Return to Practice or RTP courses that help you update your knowledge and skills in keeping with the latest developments and requirements.
Returning to midwifery is a big decision and you’re bound to come across a few changes since you left. However, there is one thing that hasn’t changed – and that’s the important and rewarding difference you can make as a practising midwife.
Midwives across the UK enjoy flexible working conditions, excellent benefits and a wealth of opportunities to develop and advance their careers. There are few other professions that offer so much in terms of job satisfaction and support, as well as the flexibility and diversity to advance your career or move into a more specialised stream.