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DMU students 'better at adapting to role of qualified midwife'

Midwifery students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are better at adapting to life as a qualified practitioner - according to a senior midwife.

The DMU team is delighted with this positive feedback from Gill Harris of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, crediting modules that build confidence and skills usually mastered after qualifying.

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DMU's Sue Nyombi

Midwifery senior lecturer Sue Nyombi said: "It's such a leap for students to become practitioners and the responsibility is massive.

"Why our students are better prepared is down to a combination of theoretical and practical features of the course."

These include the case holding module, which involves a final-year student providing continuity of care for up to 10 women they meet in pregnancy, including being on call when they are due to go into labour and providing 28 days of post-natal support.

"It's a way of the student following a journey and being given responsibility," said Ms Nyombi.

"The idea is they work under minimum supervision with low-risk women, do a birth plan and some pre- and post-visits on their own but with a mentor available to offer advice.

"It's one feature students comment on that makes them feel confident."

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Suturing (stitching a wound) is an example of a skill taught to DMU students that is usually mastered after qualifying.

Ms Nyombi said: "We offer third-year students the chance to do this and they experience suturing under supervision, so have a head start in achieving competency. It also gives them a better understanding of physiology and anatomy.

"We also set them off early with medicine management, so they can safely provide care in labour and administer drugs. In order to qualify students have to have done a drug round in the company of a midwife."

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Midwifery students at DMU

Ms Harris, a practice development midwife with the NHS trust that runs Peterborough City Hospital, is among the employers who have praised the competency and confidence of DMU graduates.

She said: "We have found from our unit that the students that come from DMU seem to adapt to the transition to qualified midwife better."

A recent graduate who has joined the team at Peterborough is Stacy Bianchi.

The 27-year-old said: "I feel that DMU prepared me for the world of work, from the lectures and advice for interviews, to the confidence given from my tutor.

"The course content to clinical placement ratio gave me the basic knowledge and practical skills to start my job and I have been able to continue to develop these.

"I am really enjoying being qualified as a midwife, and am currently on a rotational role around the maternity unit, which has been great.

"I have felt well supported, which has meant the transition from student to newly qualified has been exciting and rewarding."

Posted on Friday 7th April 2017

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