Vimbai Tagarira was part of the cohort of Midwifery students who graduated last winter after successfully completing her final year. Eight months later, and Vimbai is still adapting to life away from the comforts of University but is thriving in her role as a rotational band5 midwife within the NHS. Here, she explains why graduation was one of the proudest days of her life and gives us an insight in to the day to day life of a Midwife…
We finished our course in the September and graduated in December, which meant that by Graduation day, I had been already been working as a midwife. However the graduation day was an acknowledgement of how much hard work it takes to be a midwife. It was a celebration of the accomplishment. It reminded me that I, alongside the other midwife graduates, had worked hard and had achieved something amazing. Our midwifery cohort cheered loudly for each midwifery graduate (all 50-60 of us), and that was one of my favourite memories.
Since graduating, I have been working as a rotational Band5 midwife in the NHS. I am undertaking an 18-24 month preceptorship in which I rotate around different clinical areas. I have worked in the Community, Labour ward, and Maternity Triage. Each area is very different with a different set of skills to sharpen. In the community, I worked as part of a team of midwives providing continuity of care to women through antenatal clinics, home births, and postnatal visits. In labour ward, I cared for high-risk women in labour and at delivery. In the Maternity Triage, we see women at different stages of pregnancy or postpartum, who require urgent assessment. Part of my role is to assess, and appropriately refer women to the multi-disciplinary team as required.
Transition from uni to work
Manchester gave me the experience of working with people from so many different ethnicities, social classes, and backgrounds. This gives me the confidence to feel that I can work anywhere in the country and adjust. However, I’ll be honest, the transition from being a student to Midwife has been challenging. It is nice to walk in to a room and say, “Hi, my name is Vimbai, and I’m the midwife looking after you”. It is an honour, to have that responsibility. However, the expectation on you is a lot higher, and it’s difficult to prepare for that. Being surrounded by a good team of colleagues is helpful as there are midwives I work with who have repeatedly told me “it’s okay to ask questions”, and they check on me to see how I’m coping. There’s so much more to learn once you’re qualified, but that’s okay.
Advice to current and prospective students
Talk to people. As a midwife, you cannot be a lone wolf. Talk to your peers, and make sure you have a good support network. There are going to be amazing days you have as a midwife. For example; I will always remember the first baby I delivered and the woman I cared for in labour. It was a golden moment for me, because I know she really appreciated the care she received from us. Equally there are going to be challenges along the way. Remember why you chose to be a midwife, keep developing, and keep learning.