Why work experience is important for aspiring midwives

June 6, 2016

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

See current opportunities

midwife (1)

Most people associate midwives with delivering babies, which sounds like a job anybody would love to do. After all, what’s not to like about delivering babies? However, anyone who has been in a delivery room knows how messy, painful and laborious the process can be.

Childbirth is often accompanied by a lot of blood and other bodily fluids. Not all births proceed normally; something may go wrong with the mother or the baby at any time. As a midwife, you have to be compassionate, caring, strong, alert, and capable of making quick decisions depending on how the labour is progressing.

It’s impossible to know whether or not you can handle all of this unless you have been present during a delivery. During your midwifery experience, you will get the opportunity to do this and get a firsthand look at what it’s really is like to be a midwife. Here are two ways that this experience will help you:

Work experience will improve your personal statement

A personal statement is a pre-requisite for admission into any midwifery school. This statement should highlight your passion for midwifery. It should also emphasise that your decision was not made lightly and that you have taken the time and trouble to explore this field thoroughly. How can you make your personal statement sound convincing if you have not had firsthand experience with caring for pregnant women or been in a delivery room during childbirth?

Your midwifery work experience will help you put together a compelling statement that sounds genuine and heartfelt, which is something you would find difficult to achieve without the firsthand experience.

Work experience will boost your uni application

All midwifery schools will want to be certain that you understand what a career as a midwife involves before offering you a place on the course. Knowing that you have obtained midwifery work experience tells the admissions authorities that you have given your career choice a lot of thought, and you are committed to this career.

Making the most of your work experience

Getting the opportunity to observe midwives as they go about their work day is a valuable experience, and they are a few things you can do to make the most of this experience.

Be proactive and enthusiastic
Offer whatever help you can without getting in anyone’s way. It could be small things like simply opening the door for patients or calming down an anxious mother-to-be. The staff will reciprocate your enthusiasm and go out of their way to make it a great experience for you.

Ask questions
Ask midwives what they think are the upsides or downsides of the job. Ask them about their best and worst experiences and any other questions you need answers to.

Reflect on your experience and organise your thoughts
Think about what you learned during your midwifery work experience. Make notes about which aspects you particularly enjoyed and which aspects came as a surprise to you. Was there any incident that involved an ethical dilemma? Make a special note of such incidents and give them a lot of thought. This is a question that is often asked at interviews. Reflecting on this issue means you will be able to answer confidently and not fumble around for an appropriate reply.


Chat with us on Facebook or Twitter, or email info@gapmedics.com

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.