I want to become a midwife; where do I start?August 8, 2016
Imagine a job where you can combine caring for patients, educating people and help bring a new life into the world. If that sounds pretty cool, being a midwife may be one healthcare career to consider.
Midwives provide care for women throughout their life. From puberty through menopause, midwives provide routine care, as well as care during pregnancy. Midwives perform physical exams, diagnose and treat various conditions, provide prenatal care and care for women and their babies during labor and delivery.
Before you can work as a midwife, you need to become a registered nurse. RN programs range from associate degree programs, which are two years and four-year bachelor’s degree programs. But a midwife is considered an advanced practitioner, so additional training and education are required beyond a registered nursing license.
Working as a midwife may sound like a good fit. But where do you start? If you’re wondering how to become a midwife, the answer depends on whether you’re in high school or graduated already.
If you are a high school student, there are still things you can do to get a jump start on your career. For instance, consider taking several classes in biology, anatomy and physiology. Science classes are part of the foundation you’ll need to become a midwife. But not only do science classes provide you the knowledge you’ll need, they also help you figure out if working in healthcare is a good fit.
What else can you do?
Another great step to take is gathering all the information you can about what it’s like to work as a midwife. You might get information from television or online and it sounds great! But there is more to a career as a midwife than what you read in a job description.
Research as much as possible about what modern day midwives do. The American College of Nurse-Midwives has a lot of information on their website and has a book list for more information.
It’s also helpful to network. Talk to people who work in the field. It’s no big deal if you don’t know any midwives personally. You can meet local midwives by doing volunteer work in a hospital or getting involved in a shadowing program to meet people in the profession.
Don’t forget, technology also makes the world a smaller place. Consider networking with midwives on the American College of Nurse Midwife’s Facebook page.
If you’re already out of high school and started college, you’re one step closer to becoming a midwife. Continue to take science classes and learn about the profession, but take your research further. Consider volunteering at a hospital or health clinic to learn more about what the day to day work of a midwife involves. Volunteering helps give you a better understanding of the profession. Plus, it will also give you application to a midwifery program a boost.
Many people find it hard to secure work shadowing or volunteering in their home country, which is why we have a dedicated midwifery program in all of our destinations, from Croatia to Tanzania. These programs, starting from one week long, can give aspiring midwives a fantastic insight into what could be their ideal future career.
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, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.