“I now realise that every woman’s journey is different,” says Eva Barba, first year Bachelor of Midwifery student at the Australian Catholic University (ACU). Eva shares her first impressions of midwifery with the ANMJ.
What attracted you to midwifery?
I have wanted to be a midwife since I was 10 years old. I was a young aunty, helping to care for quite a few babies.
Why did you choose Australian Catholic University?
My friend is doing nursing, and so we decided to go together through Australian Catholic University. I might consider doing nursing later on.
First impressions of the course?
It’s been a transition from high school. I realise you have to be more independent. You don’t have teachers saying “take this down” and the assignment load is a juggle – I had three due in one week – but I am enjoying it. I’m fulltime doing four subjects – Indigenous health, Evidence-based practice, Biology, and Midwifery (lab classes).
What are the highlights?
I really enjoy the midwifery class, the clinical hands-on. I’ve learnt how to take a blood pressure, make a hospital bed (including hospital corners!), abdominal palpation and examination, urinalysis, and CTG (cardiotocograph) and how to listen for a foetal heart rate. It’s fun getting into the lab and learning. It makes it real.
How have you tackled some of the challenges?
We have ‘PASS’ leaders at the university, those students who have previously scored high in the units, who do tutoring sessions. I go to the Biology sessions which are really helpful.
We have a ‘What’s app’ group for our first year intake and we ask each other lots of questions like about getting your vaccinations for clinical and how to upload all our information for placement.
Where is your first clinical placement?
I’m going to The Royal Women’s Hospital (Melbourne) in July. I’ll be on the ante-natal ward. I’m nervous and excited and just looking forward to the whole experience. I’m interested to see what qualified midwives do and follow them and see what skills they have and to practice my own skills in the real life setting. I’d like to go to the Joan Kirner Women & Children’s at Sunshine Hospital but I’m very happy to be going to The Women’s.
What is the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE) program?
In the Continuity of Care program we follow 10 women during their pregnancy and where possible their labour and birth. This includes their pregnancy and postnatal care appointments. We’re required to attend a minimum of their four appointments during pregnancy and two in the postnatal period.
I would love if there’s any women out there I can follow during the course. I’m really looking forward to engaging with women. I feel like some women like the support of a student, especially during their first term. We’re there just for them.
Tips for others considering studying midwifery?
My tips are to be organised and start your assignments early. Make sure you plan and manage your time properly. Go to the University Open days and explore the courses and talk to the representatives – I got hooked!
I enjoy listening to podcasts including on women who have struggled to fall pregnant. I’ve begun to realise that every woman’s journey is different.
I would love to be a private midwife helping women with home births – truly taking birthing back to women. I think being able to give birth in your home environment would be empowering.
For more information, visit ACU’s Bachelor of Midwifery Program