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Megan Hainsworth

Career Path: Registered Midwife, NHS
Location: Bradford, UK

I began to realise whilst completing my GCSE's that I wanted to enter a profession that would allow me to care for others. Midwifery stood out as the career choice for me due to the unique relationship midwives are able to develop with women and their families. To me this is a relationship like no other and I was fascinated by this.

During the completion of my A Levels I researched the career further, completing a placement in my local hospital and attending classes in the community, enabling me to talk to women about their experiences of maternity care. I then applied to study Midwifery at university. I quickly became aware that this would not be an easy journey due to the competitiveness of this course, however I knew that this career was something I could not give up easily on.

What are you doing now?Megan Hainsworth

Following the completion of my Midwifery degree at Northumbria University, I successfully secured a job as a registered midwife in my local trust. I am currently working in an area of Bradford that is extremely diverse and each day I care for vulnerable women in the community. I am grateful that this profession enables me to make a difference to the lives of these women and their families each day. As a Community Midwife I care for women through the antenatal period and following the birth of their baby

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

From my first very visit to Newcastle and Northumbria University, I felt and valued the friendliness of the city, the students and the staff. I felt welcomed at Northumbria from the very beginning, even prior to becoming a student here. It was evident that from the small cohort sizes, the staff really supported the healthcare students, enabling them to become the best midwife they could be and this is what I wanted from a university.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

My time studying at Northumbria was extremely varied and this is what kept university life interesting. We had a mix of theory and practice which I really valued. Due to this mix, we were given the opportunity to put the theory we had learnt into practice, with the women and families in our local communities. We had individual tutorials for our assessments which really helped us understand what was required of us, in addition to constructive feedback and support from our tutors. We were able to always contact them easily if we had any concerns or queries.

How connected was your course with industry?

Our course was extremely connected to practice with 50% of our year being made up of placements, this allowed us to learn and develop a whole variety of skills required to become a Midwife. We were able to complete placements in each area of midwifery including antenatal, intrapartum, postnatal and community care. Our placements provided us with the best opportunity to gain confidence and competence during our training, and gave us a wide variety of experience. Throughout our course we were lucky enough to have guest lecturers which included a variety of specialist Midwives who worked in the surrounding trust areas. This included the drug and alcohol midwife, safeguarding midwife and smoking cessation specialists. They provided us with interesting workshops which allowed us to think critically about how to care for vulnerable women and women at risk.

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

The placements allowed us to gain knowledge, skills and confidence in each area of midwifery practice. These placements prepared us for qualification as a registered midwife and gave us the opportunity to work closely with women and their families.

What was the best thing about your course?

The best thing about the course for me was being able to work so closely with women and their families in Newcastle. The course allowed us to develop a special relationship with these women and enabled us to learn how to care effectively for them. Despite the course being extremely challenging and demanding, it was knowing that you made a difference to a woman's life that made it worthwhile.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

The variety of placements and opportunities gave me an edge when applying for jobs as a registered Midwife. Northumbria provided me with flexibility in my learning and unique placements, including placements on the intensive care unit and gynaecology ward. I was lucky enough to complete all of my placements in the biggest hospital in the North East of England, which provided me with many experiences I will always be grateful for as I move forward with my career as a registered midwife.

Which skills/ knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The importance of holistic care as a midwife , caring effectively for vulnerable women and the importance of continuity of care for women and their families.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

I enjoyed caring for a variety of women and families in Newcastle and making a difference to their experience of maternity care. I also enjoyed the opportunities we were given as student Midwives studying at Northumbria, including the variety of placements. I also appreciated and valued the excellent support we were given by our midwifery tutors, who we were able to develop positive relationships with over our three years at Northumbria. Without their help and support, I would not be working as a qualified midwife today.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Definitely pay Northumbria a visit and attend one of the open days! You will get a feel for how friendly and relaxed both the University and city is. Spend a day exploring the city/the nearby lovely coast areas. Ask many questions at the open day. Don't be afraid to apply for midwifery at Northumbria and do not let the competitiveness of the course put you off applying - if you are passionate you will have every chance of succeeding.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Challenging, rewarding and unforgettable.

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