Nottingham is well known for its medicine and health science courses within the UK and this caught my attention first and foremost when considering universities and courses. I chose to study Midwifery at Nottingham because their programme was so unique in comparison to other universities and their facilities are excellent. The midwifery course is structured to separate its theory and practice modules, allowing you to focus primarily on your academic work during theory blocks, and in turn have no academic work to focus on during placement blocks. Many other universities run placement and theory side by side and this made those courses less attractive to me.
The case holding scheme Nottingham offers runs through each year of study. Not every university offers this scheme and those that do tend to offer case holding either in the first or third year with a much larger caseload. Following two women every year enables you to give more time to the scheme allowing both the student and the woman taking part to gain more value.
The best thing about the course by far is the teaching staff. It often feels as though you’ve entered into one big midwifery family! The staff always have so much time for you, whatever the type of support you’re requiring and there no such thing as a silly question. They have been and some are still, clinical midwives so they can empathise with you and understand the dilemmas and conflicts you might face both in university and out in placement. The lecturers are very knowledgeable, and the teaching standard is exceptionally high.
A typical day on placement can be long and tiring and it will often leave your head spinning but regardless of the day you’ve had it will always be rewarding and you will always surprise yourself with just how much you’ve learnt!
The midwives you work with will always make you feel part of the team and they love to see you getting stuck in and learning as you go. You will get to see the day to day reality of midwifery in the current NHS; its highs, its lows, its merits and its challenges. We are privileged in that we will get to see the start of significant changes to the midwifery model of care during our time as students.
Make sure you have some comfortable shoes for placement, your feet will thank you later!