This month, MIDIRS stops to chat to Dr Jayne Marshall, who was recently awarded the Johnson’s® Baby Award for Excellence in Midwifery Education.
Jayne works for the University of Nottingham. An experienced midwife, midwifery lecturer and external examiner, Jayne has been instrumental in implementing the three-year Pre-registration Diploma/Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Midwifery programmes at the University of Nottingham from its infancy. She is currently the Director for Continuing Professional Development and Postgraduate studies in Midwifery, the Course Director for the BSc (Hons) in Midwifery Studies Pathway and the Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Science in Midwifery.
In 2012, Jayne was awarded one of the University of Nottingham’s prestigious Lord Dearing Awards in recognition of outstanding achievement in enhancing the student learning experience. Jayne has a particular interest in the complexities surrounding professional issues, law and ethics relating to midwifery practice and as well as facilitating modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, has written publications in this area as well as edited a number of midwifery textbooks.
Congratulations Jayne! Please tell us a little bit about the module that led to your well-deserved award?
Thank you. The module was devised as a way of offering experienced practising midwives the opportunity to complete part of their degree in their own workplace, providing them with the flexibility to more effectively balance the pressures of work and home life with their studies and undertake novel project work. The work-based project can take many forms and midwives have been instrumental in developing clinical guidelines, information leaflets and booklets for parents and staff, internet resources such as virtual maternity unit tours and intranet staff training packages. Each project has had a positive effect on the midwives’ own professional and career development as well as their clinical practice and that of their colleagues, their employing organization and more importantly the care provided to local women, their babies and families.
Do you see this award as enabling you to develop the module further or to further projects like it?
Most definitely. It has certainly raised the profile of work-based learning through the excellent projects that the midwives have initiated which demonstrate that front-line midwives can be instrumental in developing maternity and neonatal services. The findings from the research I undertook to examine the effect this module has had on both the individual midwife and in developing midwifery practice, was overwhelmingly positive from the midwives, their managers and their employing organization as there is something ‘tangible’ produced from their studies; consequently there have been requests for more modules of this nature!
How long have you been in the maternity field?
For over 30 years! Initially I undertook my nurse training at Guy’s Hospital in London followed by a year’s midwifery training at King’s College Hospital. I continued to practice as a midwife in South East London, until I left my post as a midwifery sister at St Thomas’ Hospital to commence the Post Graduate Certificate in the Education of Adults at the University of Surrey in Guildford, which I completed in 1987. I have consequently been in midwifery education ever since.
What made you decide to become a midwifery educator?
I was fortunate that during my nurse training I undertook a 13 week placement in obstetrics at Guy’s and was fascinated by what I learned and experienced in both the classroom and the clinical area. I was fortunate to be guided by some excellent midwives who provided me with some hands-on’ birthing experience which included a vaginal twin birth. The midwife teacher we had was the late Dora Opoku who was so enthusiastic about midwifery, bringing the theory to life by her story-telling from her many experiences from clinical practice, that she inspired me to pursue a career in midwifery following registration as a nurse. Having a thirst for knowledge, as a newly qualified midwife, I soon developed a natural flair to educate and mentor students in the clinical area and so it seemed a natural progression to then undertake further study and gain a teaching qualification to become a midwife teacher.
You are involved in a range of research societies, committees and networks, what has been the most exciting part of being involved in this field?
Meeting midwives and other professionals with a range of expertise at local, national and international level and sharing with them ideas and best practice in all aspects of midwifery; be it in clinical practice, education or research.
Despite all the difficulties facing maternity health care professionals and educators, what has kept you motivated?
Having a pertinent role in shaping the future of midwifery education and preparing midwives for the realities of contemporary midwifery practice by ensuring they are fit for purpose. I have been overwhelmed by the impact that the midwives’ innovative work-based projects from the module I initiated has had on local maternity and neonatal service as well as their own professional and career development. Witnessing the growth and development of ‘my’ students is what keeps me motivated and is a reward in itself.
Which of MIDIRS services do you find of most benefit in your role as an educator?
As a personal subscriber to the GOLD service, the whole package is of great benefit to me in my busy lecturer’s role. I have always found the literature searches good value and the Digest invaluable for quick access to a range of journal articles. However, the evidence-based monthly Essentially MIDIRS containing the latest research, systematic reviews and guidance/guidelines is especially useful to the range of courses and modules I facilitate.
When you are away from work, how do you spend your time relaxing?
I enjoy spending a day of pampering at a local health spa that is conveniently only 20 minutes from home, going to the cinema to watch historical/period drama films and taking a drive with my partner, Paul, in his 1959 pink Cadillac (but only in fine weather!).
And finally, if you could give a word of advice to newly graduated midwives, what would it be?
Never be afraid to admit your limitations as you cannot know everything! Remember that to be a midwife is to be an insatiable learner and that every experience encountered is a unique learning opportunity, so make the most of them and enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling midwifery career.
The University of Nottingham is established as one of the top 5 UK universities for nursing and midwifery research according to the research power method for ranking research in a subject area, which includes both the quality and depth of research activity. A strong and sustainable research culture supports high quality education for health professionals and this result places the School at the leading edge of research and teaching in the UK. The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy is committed to educating a flexible workforce with the intellectual and practical skills to adapt with speed and confidence to changes in healthcare. High quality scholarship is integral to this process. The School supports the values of higher education and requires its teachers to be involved in generating new knowledge for practice as well as transmitting this knowledge and skills to students. The School has national and international recognition in the areas of patient and public involvement, technology in healthcare education, supportive and palliative care at the end of life, maternal and child health, mental health, health humanities and rehabilitation.