Midwifery students from the University of Worcester have been helping to bring new life into the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Around 40 students have been working on the frontline in hospitals and community settings helping to ensure women continue to receive the care they need.
Among them is 21-year-old Amy Gibbs, who said she’d wanted to be a midwife from the age of 13.
“Being a midwife is a real privilege,” she said. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do and I’m so pleased to be able to be helping right now.”
Amy is a third year student at the University of Worcester is due to qualify this summer.
“Obviously the end of my degree hasn’t quite been how I’d expected,” she said. “But the University and the mentors at the Trust have been fantastic in making sure we are well prepared to join the workforce at this time.”
“I really wanted to get out and help and do the job I’ve been trained for,” Amy, from Bristol, added. “Everyone in the NHS is doing an amazing job and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”
Also joining the workforce amidst the pandemic is Harriet Jeffs, from Moreton-in-Marsh.
“I was still on my usual placement at the hospital, on delivery suite, when the pandemic broke,” said the 22-year-old. “My main focus throughout has just been ensuring women continue to receive the best possible care.
“Some women have had to deliver without their planned birthing partner so for me it was about making sure I was there to offer as much support as I possibly could.”
Harriet, who is due to qualify in February next year, is now working on the postnatal ward. “I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do, and that’s a really amazing thing,” she said. “Yes, we’re working in the middle of a pandemic, but we still want to make things as normal as possible for the women we’re looking after and to give the best care we can. All the staff at the hospital, particularly our mentors, have been brilliant.”
Harriet added: “I have been so inspired by the amazing women we have cared for in this pandemic, particularly those who have had to birth alone. Their strength to get through it has been a privilege to see in such times, as hard as we are working and how daunting it seems to us, it just must be so much harder for them.”
The University educates around 75 Midwives each year. Of those that could, 100% of the current students opted in to take placements during the pandemic, stepping up to help the NHS at a time of national emergency.
Lisa Stephens, Lead Midwife for Education at the University, said: “We are incredibly proud of our students who are doing such a wonderful and vital job for the NHS right now.
“Our students are very carefully selected for their ability to become outstanding, caring, compassionate professionals, and throughout their training we empower them to think critically and professionally about the challenges they may face. We’ve always known that our students go on to make an enormous difference to the communities they serve and that has really been highlighted of late.”
The University is currently shortlisted for seven awards in the Students Nursing Times Awards, which pay tribute to student nurses and midwives and the programmes and people committed to providing outstanding training and education opportunities.
As well as being shortlisted for Nurse Education Provider of the Year (Pre-registration), Best Student Experience, and Teaching Innovation of the Year, four individual University of Worcester students are also shortlisted in the awards.