Midwifery

Funding for nursing students explained by Melissa

My name is Melissa, and I am a postgraduate Adult Nursing student. In this blog I’ll be talking about funding.

Despite recent changes to the funding for undergraduate healthcare subjects, postgraduate diplomas are thankfully unaffected and diploma students will still be entitled to the NHS funded programme of study. This means that not only are your tuition fees paid for but, depending on whether you would be considered an independent (financially self-supporting) or a dependent student (financially reliant on one’s parent(s)/guardian), you may also be able to receive fiscal support for living costs. Click here to find out more!

So how does this process work? Once you receive an offer from King’s – whether it be unconditional or conditional – you will be prompted by UCAS to apply for your bursary. It is important to note that all students who apply to have their tuition fees paid for will receive a £1,000 annual bursary which is not means tested. So around March you can apply for your NHS Bursary, but you have until the end of May to apply and receive your allowance on time for the start of term. The application process is made simple through its step-by-step guide on what to do and, once you’ve filled in the online application with the relevant financial information, you will need to send off relevant original documentation to the given address. It is highly recommended that you use recorded delivery due to the importance of the documents.

Special allowances are also added to an individual’s entitlement, should they be eligible. This includes extra funding for childcare and adult dependents, among others. A London-weighting is also provided due to the high cost of living within a big city.

Once the whole process is complete you’ll be able to log into your account to see how much you are entitled to, and when you will receive your payment. However if your circumstances change during your studies, you are contracted to inform NHS Bursary and your allowance will follow suit. For example, if you are a classified as a dependent student living at home, and throughout the year you move out into your own accommodation, all you will need to do is fill in a ‘Change in circumstance’ form and send it off and your allowance will be altered.

Entitlement to the NHS Bursary is not at all affected by whether you possess a previous degree and/or a previous set of loans.

Lastly it’s important to stress that this may all seem rather daunting and possibly discouraging, but there are many opportunities to find work through King’s College London in order to obtain extra income. King’s also gives away annual scholarships and there is a Hardship Fund which provides eligible students struggling financially with monetary support.

Though the application process may be new and rather time-consuming, NHS Bursaries are the link to higher development and bright career aspects for many individuals. I can attest to this fact as I love my current studies and the career I’m moving into – and that wouldn’t be possible without going through this funding process. We here at King’s encourage you to research your options in regards to funding, and not allow finances to be a barrier between you and your destined career.

For the full list of funding scholarship and funding opportunities click here.

Best wishes,

Melissa Vandy

Adult Nursing

Have an offer to study Nursing at King’s? Deborah is here to help

I’m a 3rd year BSc Mental Health student at King’s and I’m one of the student buddies.  I’m here to help students through this exciting and even daunting decision time. I aim to provide you with information that may answer some of your queries or concerns and help you make one of the most important decisions of your life so far. I know what it feels like because I was in your position not that long ago.

So I’m guessing you probably want to know about funding for the Nursing course. As we are all aware, there have been plenty of changes over the last year in relation to funding which are hard to keep up with.

If you are applying to King’s to study Nursing, here’s what you need to know:

From 2017 new Nursing and Midwifery pre-registration students will have access to the same student loans system as other students. You will pay the loan back when you start earning a certain amount of money after your degree. You might get extra money on top of this, for example if you’re on a low income, are disabled or have children. You can find hints and tips on how to manage your budget here:

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/services/student-advice-support/how/money/index.aspx.

If you are applying to King’s you have the opportunity to apply for Nursing and Midwifery scholarships. These are available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. More information about scholarships is available here http://www.kcl.ac.uk/nursing/study/funding/scholarships.aspx .

 

Good luck!

Deborah Ayodele

DeborahAyodele

Life in London

When I started at King’s College London at the age of eighteen, I moved from a small town in Sussex to London, the capital city. I spent the first year of my degree living in university accommodation at Great Dover Street Apartments – a huge building of over 700 students!

I shared a flat with six other students, all of different backgrounds and all studying various courses. Living in halls was genuinely the best year of my life; even if I did miss out on some of the socialising and partying university brings due to working shifts at the hospital as a student midwife, I still had a fantastic year. Situated a ten minute walk from London Bridge, we were so close to everything we needed whether that was Guy’s campus, the library, the tube, loads of shops and (importantly) lots of places to meet up with friends.

At King’s there are hundreds of organisations, societies and sports clubs to choose from if you want to get involved in student life. I joined KCL Lions, the universities competitive cheerleading squad. I have been lucky enough to compete with them at a national level for three years now! The squad have become my second family and I even live with some of my team mates now I am in my third year – I highly recommend joining a sports club or a society, it was the truly the best decision I made!

Training in the capital city has meant I have had a one of a kind experience. You never run out of things to do or places to explore – there is always something exciting to see. The hospital placements are literally world class, and both the academic staff and mentors at hospitals are hugely supportive. I know I may be biased, but accepting my offer to King’s College London was the best decision of my life so far and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Hayley, 3rd Year, Midwifery Student

For more information on Midwifery, click here.

To read more about Hayley’s experiences:

Day in the Life of a Student Midwife             The Best Part of my Degree

 

The best part of my degree

Towards the end of the second year in the midwifery program we started a fantastic module called the continuity project. This enabled us to follow two to five women throughout their pregnancy – also known as caseloading midwifery.

After gaining consent at their very first appointment known as their ‘booking’, we would attend all their antenatal clinics, ultrasound scans, any appointments with an obstetrician or gynaecologist, and also assist with parenting classes.

From 37 weeks of pregnancy onwards we are on call for their delivery. If all goes to plan, the patient contacts us herself to let us know she is in labour and we attend the birth – that’s if we can make it there in time! Afterwards we provide mother and baby with postnatal care both within the hospital and out in the community. Throughout the whole project, we are supervised by our assigned ‘responsible midwife’. He or she supports us throughout this module and is also a point of contact for our patients if needed.

It was an incredible journey and was personally my favourite aspect of the degree program. Being able to see a woman progress throughout her pregnancy re-emphasised to me the importance of continuity within the NHS. Mothers often really appreciate a familiar face and the company of someone that they know and trust! Some students create amazing relationships with their patients – it is truly a rewarding experience.

Hayley, 3rd Year, Midwifery Student

For more information on Midwifery, click here.

Day In The Life of a Student Midwife – Birthing Centre Placement

05.20 – My alarm goes off, and it’s still pitch black outside. I shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, drink a huge coffee, and check through my bag to make sure I have all I need for my day working at the birthing centre. I leave the house for the station, walking through central London at sunrise.

07.00 – Once I arrive at the hospital I change into my scrubs and find my mentor; I’m ready to start my 12.5 hour shift. We attend handover together, which is where midwives ending one shift meet with the midwives taking over the unit for the next shift, and we discuss all the patients within the unit in detail. Our patients here are either in labour or have just recently have delivered – so all details are very important to make sure they receive the best care possible from their new midwife.

07.30 – Handover is finished and my mentor and I are looking after a woman in labour. After introducing ourselves, we read through our patient’s notes and formulate a plan of care together. What has this woman’s pregnancy been like? Any medical or surgical history? What has happened in her labour so far? What is her birthing plan? All of these aspects will influence how we care for her and her unborn baby. We talk with her and her partner discussing what her wishes are and gaining consent for any procedure. Making sure the patient knows and understands what is happening is vital.

09.30 – Once we have performed any checks such as blood pressure, assessing the baby, or how far along she is in her labour if it is necessary, we make sure our patient knows we are here for her as little or as much as she wants. Creating this relationship of trust, empathy and security is hugely important – after all, she is putting her and her child’s life in my and my mentor’s hands.

10.00 – As this patient is in ‘active labour’ my mentor supervises me as I listen into the baby’s heart rate every 15 minutes to check the baby is coping well between the contractions. She asks the midwife if she can go into the birthing pool, mainly to use as a form of pain relief.

11.30 – Our patient has been in the birthing pool for a while and is showing signs that the baby may be coming soon. As a student, learning the subtle signs of the second stage of labour is something you pick up over time with practice. Maintaining a calm and reassuring environment enables everyone involved to feel relaxed – positivity and encouragement in labour is key.

12.00 – My mentor and I retrieve some medication for our patient. Helping women to cope with their pain is a huge part of midwifery, along with supporting their decisions. We look at the drug chart together and the midwife supervises me as I get the correct drug and dose. We go together to check the patient’s identification, whether she has any allergies and check it all against the drug chart once more. Accidentally giving the wrong drug, or the wrong dose or route can have very bad effects on the patient so I am always heavily supervised.

13.30 – After pushing for one hour in the birthing pool, our patient delivers a beautiful baby. This is always a highlight of being a student midwife – the pure joy and relief on the mother’s face always makes this job and the hard work so worthwhile. Within training we have to deliver a minimum of 40 natural births – now after this morning’s hard work I only have 18 left to go!

14.00 – After performing an initial newborn check and weighing the baby, my mentor fills in some paperwork while I support this new mother to breastfeed for the first time.

14.30 – Another midwife comes into relieve my mentor and me for our lunch break – one hour off of your feet is always highly appreciated. I personally also take this hour to eat as much as I can and to drink as many cups of tea as humanly possible.

15.30 – Once our break is over, we go back to our patient. After assisting her to wash, dress and to give her any necessary pain relief, we transfer her to the maternity ward. My mentor and I hand over care to the postnatal ward midwife who will be looking after her. I tell the new midwife all about the patient; her medical, social, obstetric and surgical histories and, of course, the details of her pregnancy, labour and delivery. It is vital not to miss out any information – my mentor listens closely to fill in any gaps I may have missed. We say goodbye to our patient, her partner and her baby. Seeing how happy and content they are as a new family always makes me realise how amazing, rewarding and exciting my career will always be.

17.30 – My mentor and I take a moment to go through my Midwifery Practice Document. This is how mentors assess students while on placement. We talk through a few of my labour and delivery skills and sign off one which I achieved today.

18.00 – For the last hour of the shift we take telephone calls from other women in labour – assessing them and occasionally inviting them into the hospital if we think they need a physical assessment. As the birthing centre is fairly quiet, we restock anything that is needed around the unit and generally make sure everything is spick and span – ready for any new patient that may walk through the door in labour.

19.00 – The end of my shift is here. Even though 12.5 hours at work seems a long time, it always goes extremely quickly. The midwives hand over the patients on the birthing unit to the night team. We also tell them about any women who are in early stages of labour at home, or who are making their way into hospital so the midwives don’t have any surprises.

19.30 – My mentor gives me permission to leave my shift and I start the hour’s journey home. I always like this time on the train to reflect on the day I’ve just had.

20.30 – I am finally home after what was another tiring but extremely rewarding day at the birthing centre. I quickly eat some dinner and get straight into bed in order to get as much sleep as I can – tomorrow I’ll be doing it all again!

Hayley, 3rd Year, Midwifery Student

For more information on Midwifery, click here.

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