Sophie Spittle, 1st year, Midwifery

Sophie Spittle

Faculty: Health, Social Care & Education
Department: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Midwifery
Category: Nursing and midwifery

21 June 2013

Hi, I’m Sophie and I am a Student Midwife.

I am 22 and I live in Haverhill with my partner Steve. We met whilst doing our first degrees and have been together ever since. My first degree was an undergraduate BSc in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, which I completed with a 2:2. It wasn’t my first choice of degree and wasn’t necessarily the right decision but I don’t regret any choices I have made and will share my journey to midwifery with you another time.

I have worked part-time doing weekend and holiday jobs since I was 15. I always found it important to be independent and liked earning my own money and working hard. My first job was in a pharmacy, which sparked an interest in the medical field. I then started working in Sainsbury’s after school and at weekends to pay for my driving lessons. When I moved to Roehampton, in London, I found a job as a support worker in a Psychiatric Unit to support myself whilst studying Psychology. The work was challenging, not only mentally and emotionally, but physically too as the hours were very long. I think this is the reason that shift work has never fazed me and I actually quite like doing night shifts for some strange reason! After doing that job I decided that my interests in mental health were not strong enough to pursue a career in that field, but I loved the interaction I had with the patients. I would be 1:1 with a patient all day and I loved that aspect. I think it is important sometimes to ask yourself: “what don’t I want?” It makes you look at your options and narrows the choices down.

In 2010 I started work as a Bank Healthcare Assistant at Addenbrookes Hospital. I did this work in the holidays from University and it really helped boost my funds whilst being at Uni, as we all know the student loan doesn’t stretch too far! I worked everywhere, from care of the elderly wards, to children’s wards, to plastic surgery wards and even clinics. I still do bank shifts in my spare time (what little I have of it) as it is very handy to have a little bit extra some months (especially the months when your car fails the MOT, then the clutch goes, then your washing machine breaks down and your family decide to have 3 birthdays in that month!) Sound familiar to anyone or am I just disaster-prone?!

I have very nearly finished my first year of Midwifery training at Anglia Ruskin, which to be honest has gone so fast I can hardly believe it’s now June 2013, but I am currently feeling very blessed and very optimistic for the future.

The theory training for midwifery is carried out at the Fulbourn campus which is very soon being moved to Young Street in central Cambridge. The placements take place at one of many hospitals for the whole of your training, mine is Addenbrookes Hospital but there are a wide range of options including Peterborough, Harlow and Hinchingbrooke. We do roughly 4 weeks at Uni then 4 weeks placement and have 7 weeks of annual leave per year which is nearly always Christmas, Easter and summer. These aren’t your typical holidays for an undergraduate university course; I was used to having 3 weeks off at Christmas and 4 months off in the summer! Midwifery is a whole new ball game. University becomes less of a “uni-course” and becomes more of your “uni-verse” but to be honest it has gone so quickly I wouldn’t want any more holiday as we wouldn’t be able to fit everything in! You just get really good at prioritising and organising your life and finances, yet more life skills!

I have done so much in the last year it’s been a bit of a whirlwind but it has been amazing. One of the best things was raising £126 at a cake sale for International Day of the Midwife on the 6th May. We had a lovely time and were so proud of ourselves. We held it at the open day at the Cambridge Campus and the feedback was phenomenal. I have met some inspirational people and made friends for life. The best part of the course is getting to work beside midwives in action. It makes it more real and I am starting to feel I know enough now to make a difference. My favourite 4 weeks was my most recent placement on the postnatal ward. I got some wonderful feedback and worked with some amazing people. I really think this is where I would like to work in the future. I am hoping to share a lot more with you, for example; my journey to midwifery, a day in the life of a student midwife, study techniques and placement survival guides etc., so stay tuned!

Thank you for reading.
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