By the time you start to write your personal statement, you should know why you want to be a midwife. This is your chance to show the admission tutors why, out of the hundreds of applicants they receive, they should be particularly keen to interview you.
Most people either provide personal statements which are boring and very similar to everyone else’s, or provide information which isn’t relevant or appropriate. It’s important for your application to show the right:
- Commitment/ enthusiasm
What should you include in your personal statement?
- Reasons why you want to be a midwife
- Your awareness of what a midwife is
- Your understanding of the needs of service users
- Your ability to communicate, work in a team, be organised and have empathy
- Demonstrate that you are non-judgemental
Personal statements that stand-out
Getting on a midwifery course is tough, and gets tougher every year. So you may need to be a little ‘tactical’ about how you approach it in order to secure your place within this highly sought- after career.
- Work experience
We’ve all done a range of jobs, but not all of them will show evidence to uni tutors that you have the skills to train as a midwife. Midwifery-related work experience, including any volunteering or shadowing is very useful, but if you haven’t got this there are plenty of other ways you can show you have what it takes. There are plenty of ‘caring’ professions through which you can show a range of very transferable skills such as a kind, empathetic and practical approach. Even jobs which don’t fall neatly into this category can have a lot of merit when it comes to proving your worth to application assessors. You just need to know how to present your experience in a way which makes it seem relevant and highly desirable, even if at first glance it’s not obvious how this role and midwifery connect.
- Extra activities
When there is a pile of application forms on a desk, all describing similar qualifications and similar work experience, it can be the extra activities which make all the difference to your application, so use your free time wisely! If you are just finishing school or college you may be thinking about taking a year out and applying for a uni place on your return. You can use this year to get experience in a relevant profession or do some volunteering either locally or abroad. Travelling can have its merits, although you will need to demonstrate that you did more than bar-hop across continents if you want to impress potential employers!
You don’t need to quote journals at length to make a good impression, but if you give some indication of reading around your subject it will go a long way to towards showing your commitment to the profession. You may wish to mention something current happening in the profession mentioned in the mainstream media or a latest piece of research which could have an impact on practice. By referencing this, not simply as a snippet directly lifted but as a basis for your own comment and reflection, you will show your interest in the profession ad motivation to learn more.
- Understanding the course
Some universities want to be sure you know what you are letting yourself in for! They will expect to see that you understand the clinical placement aspect of the course, that this may involve travel, shifts and a real work environment (no slacking just because you are a ‘student’!)
- Appreciation of the challenges
Uni tutors are wary of selecting anyone who may drop out of the course, or leave the profession early, simply because they didn’t appreciate the demands which they would be facing. To have come this far you’ll know that a career in midwifery is not an easy option. Rewarding, fascinating, fulfilling yes, but rarely easy. The training requirements are no different, and if you can show that you have not only understood this but have strategies to overcome these obstacles, your uni assessors will be able to put another ‘yes’ tick next to your name.
Personal statements tend to be littered with phrases such as ‘work well independently as well as part of a team,’ ‘good communication skills’ and ‘reliable and hardworking’. The problem is, when everyone is writing the same thing it becomes rather meaningless. To really stand out you need to prove these things, and that’s done through your personal examples. These have the power to back up even the blandest generalisation and turn your personal statement into something that will make your tutors sit up and smile.
With all of these recommendations, understanding that you need to apply them to your statement is easier said than done. What’s the best way to write an example, how much detail should you include, where should you put it? How can you seem genuine about the challenges you will face and how can you convince your audience that you can face these? What extra activities are highly regarded and which would be frowned upon? There are plenty of opportunities you get your personal statement spot-on, and plenty to mess it up as well! If you’d like more help on how to get it right, click here
Top 10 Personal Statement Mistakes
- 1. Your personal statement is lacking personality.
- 2. You write about previous work experience, which is unrelated to your application.
- 3. You write about your own experience of giving birth.
- 4. You write about being a team player and how well you communicate, but do not give any examples.
- 5. You forget to write why you have chosen to be a midwife.
- 6. You don’t demonstrate any wider reading about health care or midwifery.
- 7. You don’t demonstrate your awareness of challenges such a shift work or balancing placement with academia, and how you would overcome such obstacles.
- 8. You haven’t done any work experience within the care sector
- 9. You mention your other commitments, which may hinder your ability to work full time.
- 10. You submit your personal statement without getting someone to proof read it for structure, typos and grammar.
Next Page: The University Selection Day
Each university will have a slightly different selection process. Many will have details on their websites about what to expect….
Get expert help with your Personal Statement
Let our team of Midwives and Assessment professionals review your personal statement so that you will stand out amongst the competition and get selected.
I have always loved working with people and when I looked into midwifery I found that it would give me an ideal opportunity to do this. I am drawn to the fact that midwives not only provide care for women throughout pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period but also build a relationship with them and their families by being the first point of contact for them. Another appeal is that midwives are essential in preparing women for motherhood by providing support and unbiased information to allow women to make informed choices about their care and the care of their baby. I am interested in the clinical side of midwifery too such as carrying out clinical observations. At university open days I've had the chance to practice some of these skills, such as fetal heart monitoring. I enjoyed the chance to do this and am excited to practice these further.
I have spoken to an independent midwife and a community midwife and learnt how their work differs. I feel working in the NHS is where I would be happier and most suited. I was interested to hear about challenging situations, such as when a baby is stillborn. We discussed the qualities of a good midwife, such as being approachable so patients can speak openly with the midwife. I have been on a tour with expectant parents of a midwife led maternity unit which gave me an understanding of how the unit works. I particularly enjoyed meeting the parents and hearing their concerns, for example about what would happen in an emergency situation. I will soon be visiting some midwife-run antenatal classes. I hope to see an aspect of a midwife's job outside a clinical setting and see how midwives help to prepare couples for becoming parents.
I've looked at the roles of specialist midwives such as teenage pregnancy midwives and this appeals to me for the future. I regularly read journals such as British Journal of Midwives and articles on the MIDIRS website. I recently read an article on 'Campaigning for Vulnerable Migrant Women' which gave me an understanding of maternity care available for asylum seekers. I am completing an EPQ about how a midwife can work effectively with a patient with antenatal depression. I spent a day at Ronald McDonald House, part of the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, where parents stay when their child is in hospital. I visited SCBU and spoke to some parents about their experiences of having a baby there. It was a valuable experience and gave me an insight into what can take place if a baby is born with complications and the impact on the family.
I work in a care home where I have learnt basic caring skills and some new skills that I would use as a midwife. The biggest area I have improved in is my communication skills as I have learnt to adapt my way of communicating to suit the needs of different residents. I have learnt to communicate with the families of residents by listening to and acting on concerns they have. Working in a team has taught me how to communicate with colleagues about the care of residents and issues in the care home and I've learnt to be calm in emergency situations. I have learnt to prioritise and be flexible in my work, changing the order I do things due to the unpredictable nature of care work. I enjoy the fact that no two shifts are the same and look forward to the challenge of this in midwifery. In frustrating situations I have learnt to put my own beliefs and opinions to the side and focus on the needs and beliefs of the residents.
Last summer I went as part of a team to Moldova to run children's camps. It gave me a greater understanding of other cultures and gave me skills to work with people who do not speak the same language as me. As a midwife I look forward to being able to care for women of all ages, circumstances, religions and cultures and in different settings, such as in homes, hospitals, birth centres and clinics. Although midwifery will be challenging I believe overcoming this will be part of what makes the job so rewarding.
Universities Applied to:
- Wolverhampton - Offer
- Birmingham City - Offer
- Bradford - Interview (didn't attend as had offers)
- Swansea - Interview attended, do not know result as withdrew as had offers
- Sheffield Hallam - Rejected before interview
- French (A2) - B
- Psychology (A2) - B
- Human Biology (A2) - D
Article by TSR User on Thursday 15 February 2018