Choosing a midwifery schoolMarch 17, 2016
After shadowing midwives and spending time assessing your strengths, weaknesses and career goals, you’re probably sure that midwifery is the right career for you.
The next thing you need to do is to find out how to become a midwife in Australia. Things have changed a lot over the past few years so don’t go by hearsay.
Spend some time to find out which institutions across Australia offer midwifery courses and also find out the duration and the eligibility criteria for admission into each of these programmes. You’ll find that each university has specific features and facilities and it will take some time for you to weigh the pros and cons of each to find one that best suits your needs and circumstances. You will be spending the next three years in school and these three years will pave the way for your career, so it’s important that you make the right choice.
Factors to consider
Accreditation – The first thing you need to do is make sure the programme is accredited. No matter how great a school sounds, if it’s not accredited, it’s not worth attending. Certificates from programmes that are not accredited do not hold much weight with prospective employers and you could find yourself struggling to find employment after graduation.
Eligibility criteria – Eligibility is similar for most programmes, but don’t take it for granted. Go through each school’s criteria in detail to determine that you meet all of their requirements. If you’re keen on applying to a certain school but don’t meet it’s criteria, make a note of what you can do to remedy that.
Scholarships – Does the university offer any scholarships? What are their scholarship requirements? Are you eligible for a scholarship based on their criteria?
Student/teacher ratio – Does the school offer a low student/teacher ratio? Having fewer students to each teacher ensures that the teachers will be able to give their students more personal attention, which can make a tremendous difference to your performance.
Clinical placement – Most schools are affiliated with specific hospitals or maternity clinics where you’ll do most of your clinical placements. Will you have to travel far to complete your clinical placements or is the facility close to the school?
Support – What support does the university provide to students who find some aspects of the programme particularly challenging or if a student needs to take time off from the course for health reasons?
Distance from home – Will you be staying on campus or travelling from home? If it is the latter, choosing a school that is closer to home and convenient to travel to is a crucial consideration. You do not want to spend hours commuting to school and back every day.
Make a spreadsheet with the names of all the universities offering midwifery in Australia and make notes of the pros and cons of each university so it is easier for you to compare. Don’t forget to make a note of the application deadline too so that you can work towards getting your application ready and submitted well within that time.
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 and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.