Tabitha Newman, Alumni, School of Healthcare

Tabitha Newman

I chose to come to Leeds for a number of reasons, it was one of the places where when I came to interview had a really welcoming atmosphere and felt really comfortable. It just felt right, when I came to the University it just felt kind of like home, and the lecturers and the students I met were really positive and encouraging about coming to Leeds.

I liked the fact that you’ve got a choice of two hospitals, both of those are very close to the town centre and to the accommodation where I’d be living. This was different from a lot of the other universities that I’d looked at and I liked the fact that I was going to stay at one hospital whereas at other universities you could be going to three or four different hospitals.

I chose Midwifery because when my Mum was pregnant with me she had some issues and had quite a few hospital admissions. From a very early age, she was always saying what the midwives did for her was amazing and the support they gave her, she wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. That sparked an interest for me and I wanted to give back really what they’d given to my Mum and to other women. That was where it started and the more I looked into it and the more I learned about midwifery practice the more I liked about it.

I liked the fact that you’re autonomous and make a lot of your own decisions but you can also have the support of doctors and other healthcare professionals. I liked the fact it was supporting women through a normal physiological process as opposed to nurses that are working with more people that are unwell and ill. This was supporting them through a normal process which is an amazing thing but also caring for women as well that have problems in their pregnancy.

The thing I enjoyed the most about this course is the practical side of it, half of the course is made up of practical elements in placement like community antenatal post-natal delivery suite and I’ve enjoyed knowing what the job is like and having real hands-on experience and I knew when I qualified what I was going to be doing and what my job was going to be like for the rest of my life.

I really enjoyed working with mentors and having the support allowed me to develop my own practise by identifying what my strengths and weaknesses are and develop that in a really supportive environment and learn about midwifery from a real hands-on practical way.

I was interested in research, I think there are a lot of unanswered questions and I think going through that research process and then having those findings contribute to something that changes practice to improve the care we give is great.

Leeds has a lot of specialist teams, we’ve got twins team and handler which is for women that are Asylum Seekers, refugees, homeless, more vulnerable groups of women. They’ve also got a drug addiction and diabetes team, I think having a special area where I (you) can become really knowledgeable in and provide really specialist care to women that have got extra needs would be something that will be really interesting.

The staff were really supportive and they actually opened my eyes into the research process and they had a lot of practical experience in research. A lot of them had research backgrounds that are both quantitative and qualitative, so we had an even mix. They brought a lot of experience of their own research and how that’s influenced practice and that’s really made me think about maybe somewhere along the line doing research.

I would recommend this course to other people.