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    Feeling very confused and unsure on what to do, so i'd appreciate any advice or information anyone can offer me! I am torn between loving pregnancy and the women and wanting more science, clinical practice and ability to progress and specialise which I could do in nursing. If you have knowledge in either of these degrees and feel you could provide some insight/ advice then please bear with the very long dilemma I'm getting off my chest (sorry its long!). I really want to assess my problem before I even think about talking to someone at the university regarding transferring or setting my mind at ease.

    I am a graduate in a biology based degree and am currently in week 10 of a midwifery degree. I love women and pregnancy and had always got obsessed over anything related when i was previously at university, for example studying fetal circulation, development and coming across smaller topics such as meconium aspiration syndrome. I had wanted to study midwifery straight from school but was deterred, so still being excited by these kind of topics pushed me to apply and I was very fortunate to get a place.

    My dilemma is being 4 weeks into my first placement in community; we were thrown straight into placement with more or less no theoretical knowledge of clinical skills, anatomy or physiology. I do enjoy my placement in community, but I get the impression midwives are limited to what they can do. I feel like it is only basic clinical skills such as taking blood samples, testing urine, abdominal palpation, blood pressure and auscultation which are done by midwives and that women are referred to other professionals as soon as results are outside of the norm. I completely understand this, but I am worried I'll be going into a job doing basic clinical skills and not really understanding anything outside of this. I was so used to studying in a way where e.g. structure of the heart and then looking at the mechanical, physiological and functional processes and apply this knowledge to understand why it may fail.

    I have had a little experience in hospital wards - mostly where there was little interaction between the midwife and woman. An internal examination was performed, blood pressure, temperature were taken and the midwife spent the majority of the time telling the woman to push and relax and then the baby arrived. Midwives on a separate part of the labour ward had a bit of a negative attitude and the atmosphere wasn't particularly nice to be in, worrying me further and making me think I can't work in an area such as this. Other midwives have also expressed frustration in progression; not being able to do courses in prescribing or extending their education to include sonography. The birth I witnessed was genuinely lovely, but again its adding to the appearance of midwifery being quite limited.

    I discussed my issue with one of my mentors, questioning have I made the right career choice and she has encouraged me to stick it out for at least a year and experience the theory once it comes around at university. I've expressed my love of science and wanting to do as much clinical work as I can. She suggested areas such as working as a midwife in fetal medicine (where midwives see things outside of the norm and care for these women), or working towards being a consultant midwife in a specialist area (obviously over a number of years) but I think these roles are quite limited and uncertain, as are a lot of midwifery areas. I then spoke to a friend who has recently qualified as a nurse and she reported that it was a lot more clinical, and she had to learn a lot about physiology behind conditions, things such as infection and understanding what blood results mean, and treating conditions themselves as opposed to handing patients away as soon as things stray from the normal.

    As i've not done any really relevant theory at university yet, I know it may be possible that I am having a knee jerk reaction. I feel so torn between loving pregnant women and pregnancy itself and needing to have more science involved in my career and being able to do more clinical work, and have the ability to take action in caring for people. There also seems to be less progression in midwifery except become a manager and lose some clinical practice, do research in areas that are not really pure science, lose clinical practice as a specialist midwife or retain the normal role. I guess what I'm looking for is advice regarding what both student midwives and nurses have studied at university and how they've used this on placement/ in their jobs. Or has anyone else been in this situation and how did you deal with it?
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    (Original post by sheknowwho)
    Feeling very confused and unsure on what to do, so i'd appreciate any advice or information anyone can offer me! I am torn between loving pregnancy and the women and wanting more science, clinical practice and ability to progress and specialise which I could do in nursing. If you have knowledge in either of these degrees and feel you could provide some insight/ advice then please bear with the very long dilemma I'm getting off my chest (sorry its long!). I really want to assess my problem before I even think about talking to someone at the university regarding transferring or setting my mind at ease.

    I am a graduate in a biology based degree and am currently in week 10 of a midwifery degree. I love women and pregnancy and had always got obsessed over anything related when i was previously at university, for example studying fetal circulation, development and coming across smaller topics such as meconium aspiration syndrome. I had wanted to study midwifery straight from school but was deterred, so still being excited by these kind of topics pushed me to apply and I was very fortunate to get a place.

    My dilemma is being 4 weeks into my first placement in community; we were thrown straight into placement with more or less no theoretical knowledge of clinical skills, anatomy or physiology. I do enjoy my placement in community, but I get the impression midwives are limited to what they can do. I feel like it is only basic clinical skills such as taking blood samples, testing urine, abdominal palpation, blood pressure and auscultation which are done by midwives and that women are referred to other professionals as soon as results are outside of the norm. I completely understand this, but I am worried I'll be going into a job doing basic clinical skills and not really understanding anything outside of this. I was so used to studying in a way where e.g. structure of the heart and then looking at the mechanical, physiological and functional processes and apply this knowledge to understand why it may fail.

    I have had a little experience in hospital wards - mostly where there was little interaction between the midwife and woman. An internal examination was performed, blood pressure, temperature were taken and the midwife spent the majority of the time telling the woman to push and relax and then the baby arrived. Midwives on a separate part of the labour ward had a bit of a negative attitude and the atmosphere wasn't particularly nice to be in, worrying me further and making me think I can't work in an area such as this. Other midwives have also expressed frustration in progression; not being able to do courses in prescribing or extending their education to include sonography. The birth I witnessed was genuinely lovely, but again its adding to the appearance of midwifery being quite limited.

    I discussed my issue with one of my mentors, questioning have I made the right career choice and she has encouraged me to stick it out for at least a year and experience the theory once it comes around at university. I've expressed my love of science and wanting to do as much clinical work as I can. She suggested areas such as working as a midwife in fetal medicine (where midwives see things outside of the norm and care for these women), or working towards being a consultant midwife in a specialist area (obviously over a number of years) but I think these roles are quite limited and uncertain, as are a lot of midwifery areas. I then spoke to a friend who has recently qualified as a nurse and she reported that it was a lot more clinical, and she had to learn a lot about physiology behind conditions, things such as infection and understanding what blood results mean, and treating conditions themselves as opposed to handing patients away as soon as things stray from the normal.

    As i've not done any really relevant theory at university yet, I know it may be possible that I am having a knee jerk reaction. I feel so torn between loving pregnant women and pregnancy itself and needing to have more science involved in my career and being able to do more clinical work, and have the ability to take action in caring for people. There also seems to be less progression in midwifery except become a manager and lose some clinical practice, do research in areas that are not really pure science, lose clinical practice as a specialist midwife or retain the normal role. I guess what I'm looking for is advice regarding what both student midwives and nurses have studied at university and how they've used this on placement/ in their jobs. Or has anyone else been in this situation and how did you deal with it?
    I'm a qualified children's nurse.

    One thing I think it is important to remember about Midwifery is that it is the facilitation of what is a normal life process, and the majority of the time there are no complications or anything out of the norm.

    Where nursing and midwifery differ is that in nursing a patient's physiological status is abnormal and therefore we are aiming to "normalise" or at least improve that.

    (I realise there are exceptions to both the above statements, just talking generally about acute medicine)

    Community midwifery is going to be less hands-on. I would try and wait until you get a more clinical placement in a delivery suite until you make any big decisions. Where are you training? You may find there are more research/specialists etc roles and interests within a tertiary centre as opposed to a DGH.

    It sounds as if you are also looking for some more autonomy. Midwives are actually, in some ways, more autonomous than nurses are. Although it does sound to me that nursing may suit you better, particularly in an acute setting where you can identify something abnormal, treat and see an improvement. Obviously within nursing there are still referrals to other professionals and escalation of care to a HDU or ICU environment, so you won't ever really see a patient throughout their whole journey.

    Do take advice from friends and family who know you, too, as they will have good insight on what suits you and doesn't.

    I hope that kind of helps!
 
 
 
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