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Alberto Cala

Midwifery

Why did you decide to study midwifery?

When I was doing my nursing training in Spain, I had a week placement in a Delivery Suite which I really enjoyed among my placements during the whole programme. I started working and I had been practising as a nurse for about three years when I had my son. My personal experience of parenthood along the line with other factors made me realise that Midwifery was what I really wanted to do.

Why did you choose Northumbria to study at?

At the time I started applying to university for the midwifery course, I had a friend training to be a midwife here. She talked me through her experience at Northumbria University, the IT and library facilities etc, and specifically about the support she was receiving from the academic staff, something I certainly knew I would need before embarking in a Degree in a language different to my native one.

What has been your best/most memorable experience of the course so far?

Probably the first few times that I helped a woman to give birth. Although every occasion is still memorable, the first few times that I did it, were certainly very special.

What has been your most challenging moment so far?

Managing the workload of the 18 month programme with practice placement is definitely something I have been struggling with. Sometimes I still feel challenged by the fact that culturally, midwifery is a professional group where the male gender does not seem to have a lot of room to be in, but the support I have received from academic and practice placement staff as well as from my family has been crucial to continue looking forward keeping up the work.

What piece of advice would you give to students thinking about coming onto your course?

I certainly would recommend a few days work experience in one of the local hospitals. I did not know about this facility, and from experience witnessed while in placement, those people who do feel quite rewarded and reassured about the idea of becoming a student midwife. I would say that the course is quite intense but worthwhile, and in a special manner I would invite men thinking about midwifery as a professional career not to feel discouraged by fear of acceptance, as in my experience, the majority of times obstacles are overcome.

What do you hope to do upon graduation?

I hope to be able to practise as a midwife to consolidate my skills and knowledge.

Where do you see your career in five years time?

This course have opened to me a new door that I was unaware of, which is the contribution that research studies add to quality in health care. This is an area I am quite interested in and once I consolidate my experience I may consider doing some postgraduate training to practice as a researcher in midwifery and nursing, but really I have plenty of time to change my mind as I usually do!!


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