Usually first involving some form of registered nurse training and coming under that general category, midwifery is nevertheless one of the most iconic and unique healthcare jobs that anyone can specialize in. The attraction of it is obvious, and any midwife working today will testify that the joy of helping to bring a new life into the world is certainly no disappointment when you finally experience it. However, there are other wonderful things about midwifery that you don’t experience – and might not even have heard about – until you actually start working in the job.
You only really learn about midwifery when you start doing it. Sure, your training will avail you of the necessary skills; you can read book after book about how it all works but, in the end, the real education only comes along when you start working. This is a phenomenon that nearly every midwife who has worked for any length of time will testify to.
Becoming a Midwife
This is not to say that you will not get a real taste of the profession before you qualify. Becoming a midwife involves a lot of practical work and exams and is a fairly long process that will acquaint you thoroughly with the role. The first step is to get a bachelor’s nursing degree, then there is the NCLEX-RN Exam to pass.
After that though, you begin to gain experience working as a registered nurse. If your focus has been on midwifery from the start, then you will experience much about the role during this practical training. After that, it is time to get your MSN or DNP degree with a midwifery focus. Then, you just need to get certified and it’s onto maternity wards. Health Jobs, a healthcare jobs recruitment service, say that the interview and application stage is the best time to find out as much as you can from practicing midwives about the role.
Things You Learn as a Midwife
There is no substitute for real experience, but that’s not to say you can’t know what to expect. Based on the experience of real midwives practicing today, here follows some of things you will quickly become acquainted with after a few weeks on the job:
Night Shifts Will Change How Your See the World
Babies certainly don’t check what time it is before making their grand appearance. As a midwife then, you are going to have to resign yourself to night shifts at least some of the time. Working like this creates an odd perspective on the world – sleeping during the day and driving home exhausted past people on their way to work will make you see things a little differently.
You Will Grow a Thick Skin
Like all medical professions, being a midwife can be considered a stressful job, and you will soon find that out. Given the staffing issues that are currently plaguing the U.S. healthcare system, you might find yourself covering a lot of bases, getting snappy with colleagues, and dealing with mothers complaining about waiting times. All in a day’s work.
Cuddling Babies is an Infrequent Part of the Job
The majority of your time working as a midwife will be spent caring for the mother through the final stage of her pregnancy. Holding a baby in your arms briefly is certainly not the biggest part of the job.
For those with the calling, all these challenges will be taken in their stride. And the feeling of delivering a healthy newborn is, we are glad to report, just as amazing as you always expected it would be.