Student experience - Lotta Gilmour
Current third year student, Lotta, talks about her university journey below, which may be helpful to anyone thinking about studying BSc (Hons) Midwifery. She explains how the programme is taught, gives insight into her experiences so far and provides advice to future students. 
 

Choosing to study midwifery

When I attended the open day at UoP I remember all the staff being very welcoming and friendly, more than anywhere else I visited. We were showed the skills lab with the simulation models which made me really excited to start my midwifery course. Doing my training in the South West also meant I could live in Plymouth and have the university experience, while also being near my friends and family to support me while being on such an intense course. 
<p>University of Plymouth students attending a midwifery conference. 5 students including Lotta Gilmour pose next to a conference poster. <br></p>
UoP designed their course with the best content and modules to prepare students for the role, for example providing additional training and teaching to help with our career progression. The student midwives conference gave me a great opportunity to network with professionals, gain experience in organising an educational event, and enhance my own career interests. 

Facilities at the University of Plymouth

I’ve really enjoyed going back to face-to-face teaching following COVID online lessons, the classroom, lecture theatres and university buildings are fantastic. 
The skills simulation has been incredibly useful for practicing clinical skills before going into placement which really helps you build confidence and develop your communications skills. The lecturers are always supportive and kind, which makes this course so much more enjoyable. 
The university will soon be receiving some new models to practice new skills on which sounds really exciting. Clinical skills are always our favourite days in university. 
<p>Child nursing skills session. Nursing and midwifery facilities<br></p>
<p>Intercity Place close up view of top elevation from Armada Way</p>
<p>Brand new Clinical Skills Resource Centre (CSRC). Nursing and midwifery facilities<br></p>
<p>Nursing and midwifery facilities hero image. Nursing students clinical skills.&nbsp;</p>
<p>Midwifery Hero Image</p>

Placement

Over 50% of the midwifery course is placement, and there truly is no learning experience better than being hands on. Although clinical skills are fantastic for practising and gaining confidence, working with real patients is a completely different experience. I remember seeing a caesarean on my first patient in my first week of placement, and that feeling is what really made me excited to become a midwife and work in health care. I've also made some amazing friends with the other students in my cohort, because you share some really wonderful but also some really difficult experiences together, and only they will really understand.
Being on placement is always the best part of the programme. Spending time with patients, seeing your first birth and making a difference are always special moments. Being such a hands-on programme is the best way to learn. Being sent out on placement in the first term of university was definitely daunting but it made me so much more confident that I made the right career choice. It also prepares you for what your working life will look like. It has given me lots of opportunity to practice the early starts and night shifts, which I now love. 
<p>Baby's feet with hospital tag around ankle, on a blue towel&nbsp;</p>

 

I remember seeing a caesarean on my first patient in my first week of placement, and that feeling is what really made me excited to become a midwife and work in health care.
Being on placement is always the best part of the programme. Spending time with patients, seeing your first birth and making a difference are always special moments.

Living in Plymouth

I have always liked that Plymouth University is next to the town centre and also by the sea. It is a really affordable place to live in both university halls and in student accommodation, meaning I have more money to spend on socialising and food shops. 
Everything is in walking distance, including the train and bus stations, meaning you don’t need to bring a car down unless you are on placement like me. In summer you can go down to the sea front and go swimming, and the Barbican has some really nice places to eat. It is a lovely place to study and live, and I’ve always felt safe here. More importantly there’s some good clubs with chip vans right outside.
<p>Smeatons Tower, The Hoe, plymouth</p>

The services available to support students

To help with academic work there is the The Writing Café and one-to-one support from Writing tutors.  
The Student Hub in the library is really helpful for any student concerns for example people struggling with their mental health, financial concerns or support with English Language. 
I work for the University as part of the Peer assisted learning scheme (PALS) where I support my peers on the midwifery course with revision, placement concerns and exam preparation. This creates a safe space for students to discuss their worries with a fellow student and be signposted to places of support. 
<p>Writing cafe</p>

Advice for anyone thinking of studying midwifery at the University of Plymouth

It will be the most difficult but rewarding time of your life. Be prepared for long hours on your feet, use your friends and family for support and enjoy the journey. When it gets tough, remember the difference you will be making to families every day and why you chose this career in the first place. It is true that while all your friends will be out on a Friday night, you'll be on a night shift in a labour ward wishing you were there, but every person you make smile will be worth it.
Always keep hand sanitiser in your pocket, be compassionate, and start your essays early! I know everyone says that, but it will make such a difference.
<p>Lotta Gilmour, profile shot&nbsp;</p>
 
<p>Midwifery skills sessions. Nursing and midwifery facilities<br></p>

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying Midwifery, please visit our BSc (Hons) Midwifery course page.
For further information about our range of courses within the School of Nursing and Midwifery, please see the school page.