Nights, lates/earlies and weekends. How does it work?

Find out what happens after the course. What is it like at University? What about careers after that.
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Nights, lates/earlies and weekends. How does it work?

Post by Mand135 »

Hiya student midwives, i have a few questions please.

My main problem for being a student midwife will be the placement hours. I'm a single mum of 2, with extremely limited childcare options. During the daytime it's not a problem as i can use university or local nurseries, but the nights, weekends etc will be difficult.
I've spoken to a friend who studied midwifery for 7 months, and she said that in those 7 months she never did a night and was given a choice whether she wanted the lates/earlies etc and that as long as she fulfilled the necessary hours that it was fine. Is this the case? Is this just for the first year?

Any advice gratefully received!


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Re: Nights, lates/earlies and weekends. How does it work?

Post by Mrsjprice »

Usually you follow your mentors pattern of shifts, so if you mentor is on nights you will usually be expected to follow that shift pattern. You may not have to if you have circumstances where you just can't do it, but I think some uni's requirement that 40% of your hours/supervision or something along those lines has to be with your mentor. This does vary from uni to uni though and how they are structured.

You can also get a nanny, who could live in and stay nights or maybe an au pair?

One thing I will say is that plenty of people single parents or not, with children manage to get by and finish the course. So try not to stress about it too much, just gather what info you can. Your best bet would be to contact the unis you intend on applying/applied too and ask what there policy is regarding night shifts and following mentors shift patterns etc.

Hope that helps.


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Re: Nights, lates/earlies and weekends. How does it work?

Post by Tracey »

I am amost at the end of my 2nd year now and i have found that we have managed. I have a 5 year old son and a 16 year old daughter. My daughter is not living with us at the moment so we have our 5 year old in school to worry about !!!

My hubby and i rely on eachother to provide childcare for our son. We have no help from my hubbys parents - they have made that quite clear (that they do not want to get involved unless an emergency!!) so we have on the odd occasion had to rely on a neighbour who happens to be an ex childminder of ours and a friend who has a child in the same class as our son.

During our 3 year degree we only have to do 3 weeks of nights equalling 15 days. I have done 3 so far and intend to do the other 12 when on delivery suite. You can request nights if you like to follow any mentor you are with to get them out of the way in your first year, or spread them out when you can over the 3 years. When you are on call on community you may be able to fit in the odd night then, however i have so far had 22 weeks on community and only been on call twice and not once have i been called out at night !!! Typical !!

There have been ocassions where (as my hubby has an external sales role where he is up and down the motorway and sometimes out of the UK) i have had to rearrange shifts, most mentors are fine with this. What we tend to do is when i get my shifts i co-ordinate them as best as i can with hubbys meetings. There are occasions where his meeting have been causing an issue and with a stroke of luck they are then cancelled !!! so things do fit into place. Other days you wonder how you will manage but you will get through it. My tip is to plan as best you can with sometimes very little notice from uni or placement. Time management is key.

A good understanding childminder or afterschool club is ideal. We rely on an afterschool club when i am in uni - some days finish at 2pm others 4pm. My uni is 35 mins away from home so this gives me time to travel back to the school. This morning i had an issue as i had to get to uni and hubby had to go down south and left at 6.30am so we arranged for a friend to take our son to school. Explain to your friends that sometimes it will be last minute - but as long as you are up front with them they will be able to help out.

Good luck and it will work out i promise.

2nd year student midwife
15/40 deliveries

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