Jordan is a passionate first year student midwife whose start to her course has been a little different due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jordan shares all with me in this wonderful interview.
Tell me about you, where you are from and what year you are in.
My name is Jordan, I’m from Hertfordshire and I am currently in my first year!
Why did you decide you wanted to become a midwife?
I had always loved babies and was extremely intrigued from a young age with anything to do with pregnancy and babies. However, it was never really a career option if I’m honest. I never thought I would be smart enough!
I remember I went on holiday by myself back in 2013 to Egypt. This was the first time I’d ever been abroad by myself and it felt so liberating but absolutely petrifying at the same time. I was having a ‘why on earth did I come away by myself’ moment when a lovely lady struck a conversation with me. When she said she was a midwife I was so excited and asked her every question under the sun and it was in that moment when I thought, “that’s what I want to do!”
I had only graduated in 2012 from studying Tourism and Events management and had an amazing job at a charity which I loved so I just put it on the back burner. I then went travelling and saw so many beautiful countries. It wasn’t until I settled back down and worked with a horrendous manager that I thought ” I really don’t want to do this for the foreseeable future”, so just took the plunge and applied for college to do an access course!
How was the admissions process? Did you do any preparation before you applied? What was the process for writing a personal statement like?
It wasn’t too bad really, I had help from a family friend who is a 2nd year student at the Uni that I was applying for. She was a lifesaver and read over my personal statement and made sure it sounded great. I also had help from one of my sister’s friends who was almost qualified, she talked me through the whole process (good and bad) and just gassed me up really!! I didn’t do much preparation if I’m honest, I just went with my heart and researched the universities I was applying for, and just let the universe take control.
Once I received my interviews I researched the individual Uni’s further and had a look at some midwifery journals. I also read up on breastfeeding, current issues and made sure I understood what the role of a midwife entailed.
What has been the highlight of your time so far?
It’s hard because of Covid all of our learning has been online, apart from 1 clinical skills session and a mandatory training session. It’s sad because I don’t actually have many highlights from the course so far. One funny moment that happened was in the mandatory training session – I pretended to be a pregnant woman getting into the birthing pool because everyone else hated role play!!
What have you not liked so much?
We haven’t had any face to face teaching, and we haven’t had the opportunity to get to know each other and make friends. It’s been really difficult not having a bunch of friends on the same course at the same uni to talk with and help each other through those hard times. However, I have made some amazing close friends on Instagram and it has been a blessing in disguise. A lot of social media accounts I’ve come across don’t show the negative experiences and I think it’s important to show the bad side to things! The few friends I have made on the course so far are amazing and I have realised that it’s not how many friends you have, it’s the ones that you can rely on and that are special is what matters.
Tell me 3 qualities that make an excellent midwife
Kindness – this is a big one for me, it takes nothing to be kind. I have heard some stories about mentors and other midwives bullying students and this has really worried me and made me apprehensive about placement. Also – show the families you are working with kindness and really take the time to listen to understand and not just listen to reply.
Non-judgemental – Everyone’s decision is their own to make and as Midwives we must respect that. It’s so important to respect others that are different from ourselves, whether this be age, race, disability or sex. We must be mindful that not everyone lives the same way we do, some people may not have English as their first language and some people might deaf, we should be fully able to adapt to the situation that we are in.
Caring – I think you need to be a caring and warm person. This goes without saying when you are entering a profession such as Midwifery, but you would be surprised to see how many un-caring people there are in healthcare. I think when you are a warm person your aura will radiate within the room and automatically make people feel comfortable in your presence.
What are your plans for when you qualify? Do you have any specific interests?
As I haven’t started my placement yet (Covid’s fault) I haven’t had a chance to work in different areas to see where I would like best. But I have a feeling I will really enjoy working in the community and would love to be part of a continuity of care team and follow a family’s journey from the beginning to the end. I am extremely passionate about: women’s health, tackling racial inequalities and also teenage pregnancy and a health visitor’s role really interests me too, but we shall see what the future holds!
What is the workload like, really?
I found the workload in the beginning really overwhelming to be honest. I feel it has calmed down a lot now as our November placement was cancelled but to say I had a few wobbles would be an understatement… It was a combination of online learning, the pandemic and the workload all mixed together that made it really difficult.
Do you have any interesting placement stories that stand out? Remember to keep everything confidential, don’t name the hospital, staff or clients.
My placement starts in January (fingers crossed), so I hope I gather lots of interesting stories and memories. However, I’m sure I will find everything interesting in the beginning. I am going to be working on the Antenatal Ward first so if anyone has any hints and tips… holla at ya girl!
Give me a few random facts about yourself!
I have been on a plane over 200 times (I lost count after that)
I’m obsessed with cats
I have a phobia of ketchup
I’ve been interviewed pitch side at a West Ham game (PSA: I do not support WHU)
What tips do you have for any prospective student midwives?
Believe in yourself! Never think that you’re not clever enough or not good enough for something. Don’t listen to others, listen to what’s in your heart. Planning and organisation is really important, it’s so easy to forget things when you have so much buzzing around your head. Don’t put pressure on yourself to find friends instantly, it will all happen in time.
Just go with the flow and enjoy the process!