A black and white image of a pair of hands gently holding a newborn baby.
A black and white image of a pair of hands gently holding a newborn baby.

At the beginning of the week we had a shift in which we were staffed so well that I actually got to do some admin work whilst on shift. So I worked on my revalidation in between patients.

Even though I’ve only been qualified for eighteen months as a midwife, this year marks my ninth year as a nurse. We revalidate every three years, and we have to gather together a portfolio of evidence that may or may not be selected by the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) to be examined. This selection process is random and you don’t find out if you will be selected until you actually revalidate, so you have to prepare it in case you are one of the selected portfolios.

A selection of paperwork - reflective accounts.

My line manager was also doing her portfolio, and she asked me what I put for the points on practice considerations … a rookie mistake by me! I used the previous template from three years earlier. Since then the NMC have added in a whole extra section. What’s that saying about assumptions? Something about making a donkey out of me n u… or words to that effect.

Because I’m not only a midwife but a nurse, I have to provide double the evidence and relate it to both midwifery and nursing. This has helped me to see that whilst the two professions are so different, they have the same expected attributes, just worded differently. I’ve spent forever thinking “oh I’m so under qualified in midwifery and don’t know how to do this, this and this”, but I forget about all of those transferable skills that I have. Skills that not only helped me as a nurse, but as a midwife too.

A banana on a table next to a cup of tea.

That all being said, I have to revalidate every three years and it takes considerable time to gather the information and write the reflection pieces. We are not given any dedicated time for this. Most of it is done in my own time. I was blessed to have a few hours on this shift, but it’s an anomaly. Why aren’t we provided the time to do this? It is a requirement of my job, and my line manager has to sign it all off regardless of whether I’m selected or not. Having some non clinical admin time would be so beneficial. It would mean my home time is my home time. That my rest days are truly my rest days.

As I write I realise that it was on this day two years ago that I delivered that magical baby number forty, enabling me to qualify as a midwife. That’s me and the baby in the the photo below (taken and shared with consent).

A black and white photo of a midwife holding a newborn baby in a hospital.Two midwives crouching either side of a women holding a newborn baby, laying in a hospital bed.

I was instantly reminded that despite how tired I am, despite how drained I feel, I am privileged every shift to be a part of each family’s journey, and to help welcome little miracles into this world. The memory quite simply reminded me why I truly love my job.

A card with a thank you note on it. A handwritten thank you card. Thank you cards on a table. A handwritten thank you note on a yellow piece of paper. A thank you card with a photo on it.