OK......this WILL be an essay LOL- but here goes. Bearing in mind also that I have JUST completed 1st year or direct entry BMid.
a) how many FTJ's are you required to complete and how many hours do you have to spend with each woman
We have to complete 30 FTJ's over 3 years and it's bl00dy crazy to be honest. We're required to spend around 20 hours with each woman (some we will spend less time and some more).
b) have you found it difficult to recruit women- if so why- if not why do you feel you have been easily able to do so?
I haven't found it difficult to recruit woman but the Uni supports us VERY well in this regard. We do antenatal booking in's at the hospital so we can recruit those woman if they are ok with it and also, when women fill out their forms on their first visit they tick (or don't) a box asking if they are interested in having a student follow them. This list goes to a facillitator who gives us the phone numbers of the women who ARE interested.
c) Do you think you have gained a lot more by FTJ's than you would have simply by doing prac hours?
Yep I do. I have gained a LOT. However I think there are positives and negatives to this. I really struggle to do VE's on some of my FTJ women. REALLY struggle. On prac, while I don't LIKE doing VE's and I actually wish we didn't ever have to do them (idealistic much?....I will most definately be a 'less is more' midwife though). I think it's impossible to spend 20 hours with a woman and not form an emotional attachment to her to some degree. And while prac hours make this aspect easier, I still like to form a connection with the women in my care.
I think the FTJ is a neccessary one though it's very taxing.
d) What was the most enjoyable part of FTJ's for you
Getting to know new people and their life journeys so far. Helping woman achieve positive and empowering experiences and assisting in facillitating their power. I love this part of the degree.
e) what was the least enjoyable part of FTJ's for you
The expense and emotional toll. Driving to appointments, paying for parking, paying for OOSH fees for the kids and the amount of hours we are expected to do. 10 women on average a year, 20 hours EACH woman and full time uniwith 4 kids- it's almost an impossible feat.
f) In your eyes what is a reasonable number of FTJ's that a student should have to complete in a 3 year direct entry or 4 year double degree?
God I don't know? I have learnt so much from each woman so it's hard to say for me. Maybe 15-20? But more prac hours or something? It's hard because the FTJ is lovely but unless you're going into group practice or imdependant midwifery then it's not the reality.
While these two options were my first choice of career 12 months ago,I now see that I would really like to be a delivery suite midwife first for a while to maximise my learning opportunities and also to maybe facilitate some changes.