Midwifery education programmes are rigorous, demanding and carry an added challenge in that academic studies, coursework and assignments need to be accommodated around clinical practice placements and shift patterns, which include night and weekend working. When you enter university, you will soon begin to realise that learning about midwifery requires you to develop your personal skills and abilities as an independent, self-directed learner and thinker. You will find yourself faced with a wealth of new knowledge and information that needs to be critically analysed and synthesised, so that you can advance your personal interpretation, apply this to your clinical practice and, where appropriate, challenge findings and their application to midwifery care and management. If it has been a long time since you last undertook any type of formal study, the prospect of undertaking a programme of education and training to become a midwife can feel even more daunting! MIDIRS has therefore developed this content to offer you some handy tips, information and practical advice to ensure that you get the most out of your midwifery studies; your university lecturers will also be able to offer you lots of support.
Tackling the basics
Establishing a study routine
When you are balancing your academic studies with clinical practice, working shifts, home life and relationships, establishing a study routine can be a significant challenge. There are however, some simple strategies that can help you get the most out of your study time:
Keep a diary – If you don’t already have a diary, consider purchasing one and use it for writing down coursework deadlines, dates of lectures/seminars/assessments etc. Alternatively, you might prefer to use an electronic/online calendar with reminder facilities to help keep you on track.
Be clear what is required of you – Most courses give students detailed information about the lecture topic, content and the focus for the assignment connected with the course work. If you are not clear about what is required, get this information early on and start thinking about what you will need to complete the assignment a few weeks into the timetable, rather than leaving it to the last few days.