Is midwifery the right career for you?March 17, 2016
Working as a midwife can be an exciting and great career choice for many. But how can you be sure it’s a good fit for your personality? One way is by shadowing a midwife.
Shadowing midwives can help you separate reality from misconceptions about the profession. During a shadowing experience, you’re likely to find out a lot about the field. Not only do you get to watch a midwife on the job, but you also have a chance to learn much more. Learning about the training involved and the pros and cons, as well as the opportunities, can help you decide if becoming a midwife is the right career choice for you.
Primarily, midwives care for women during pregnancy and delivery. But they also do a lot of other things. For example, they may provide gynecological care for women, which often involves performing routine screenings and exams. Some women also choose to have a midwife act as their primary care provider for their healthcare needs beyond gynecology.
The exact duties may vary, but midwives often conduct exams, order and interpret diagnostic tests and prescribe treatment. They also educate women on issues related to their health or medical condition.
There are a few different routes to becoming a midwife. But the most common path involves becoming a certified nurse midwife, which requires graduation from an accredited RN program and passing your state licensing exam. A bachelor’s degree is also needed to be accepted into a midwifery program. Although a bachelor’s in nursing is beneficial, other majors may also be accepted.
The next step is to complete a midwifery program. Most midwifery programs are at the graduate level, and a master’s degree is awarded. Although it can vary, many midwifery programs take about two years of full-time study to complete. Programs include both classroom work and clinical experience at birthing centers, hospitals, and midwifery practices. After graduating from a midwifery program, nurses are eligible to take the certification exam offered through the American Midwifery Certification Board.
Midwives have opportunities in various settings including hospitals, clinics, and birthing centers. Midwives are also in private practice. Some midwives specialize in areas, such as diabetes management and high-risk pregnancies. Additional specialties include non-surgical gynecological care and acute care for women. As more women are choosing midwives as their healthcare provider during pregnancy, the need for qualified midwives is growing, and more opportunities will likely emerge.
Pros & Cons
It can be difficult to say what the benefits of any profession are since everyone is different. What one person sees as a disadvantage may be a highlight for someone else.
One positive aspect of the job is that midwives have the chance to help women and make a difference in their lives, which can be very rewarding. But like any job, there are a few things that may be considered negative. For instance, midwives may be involved in high-stress situations. Besides, they often work unpredictable hours, which may not be for everyone.
Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and physician assistants – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.