As a final year midwifery student studying at the University of Nottingham, I was given the opportunity to undertake an elective placement of my choice to further increase my knowledge and experiences in the lead up to becoming a newly qualified midwife. As the elective placement is self-funded, I decided to apply for an Iolanthe Student Award which I had heard about in an email from a tutor at my university. I felt so shocked but extremely privileged on finding out I had been successful in my application for the award, as it meant I was able to fulfil my choice of travelling to Powys, Wales to undertake my elective placement. Without funding from the Iolanthe Trust, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve such fantastic experiences from the placement.
During my elective placement, I worked with a small team of midwives within a birth centre in Llandrindod Wells who worked within a continuity model providing antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care to ladies living in the locality. I chose this area of midwifery as I had not had a great deal of experience of working within midwife-led units during my training, and was keen to observe and become involved in the culture of practice in this area. During the placement, I had the opportunity to attend a birth within the birth centre and a homebirth, both which were extremely natural, calm and just how I had envisaged the midwifery care to be within the model.
The relationships between the women and midwives resulting from the opportunity for true continuity of carer, inspired me as a student midwife. It then encouraged me to strive for this quality of care and support back at home in my own Trust, to continually improve positive childbearing experiences for women and their families.
Having the opportunity to undertake an elective placement in a different area of the UK was extremely beneficial to my learning and I feel even more prepared for my future career as I approach the end of my training and plan for the beginning of my career in Midwifery. I feel much more confident in providing care to women in all areas of midwifery and using my professional autonomy to advocate for women’s choices during a very special time in their lives.
I would like to thank the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust for supporting me through my elective placement and providing me with the opportunity to travel to the area I had chosen to work in. The experience would not have been possible without the award and I would recommend completing an application to anyone wishing to fulfil a similar experience to my own.