Siân, student Midwife
Cardiff | Profound | One cochlear implant
I study to be a midwife. It's a three year full-time degree. My role involves caring for the woman and her unborn child. Carrying out regular checks on them both as the pregnancy develops! I enjoy building a relationship with the woman and her family. It is a big responsibility as they put their trust in you. It is such a special time and a privilege to be part of such a wonderful experience and seeing them become parents. Each birth is a unique experience.
I had funding through the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) for my equipment. I will go through Access to Work when I have employment.
I use a stethoscope called the Cardionics (made by E-scope) to listen to mothers’ and babies’ heartbeats. It is an electronic, battery-powered stethoscope and it makes sounds up to 30 times louder than an acoustic stethoscope. I bought it with a neckloop, but it could also be purchased with other types of headphones. I put the loop around my neck, turn my cochlear implants to the T-setting and listen to the sound of heartbeats like that. It has taken a lot of practice but is doable. There are also other stethoscopes for deaf people out there.
My stethoscope has enabled me to carry out the role of a midwife in carrying out the baby checks and manually carry out a blood pressure check. It has helped me overcome barriers around not being able to use a standard stethoscope, and helps me fulfill my lifelong dream of being a midwife.
How I got here
My previous qualifications include my degree in education and my PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education . This demonstrated that I was able to study at a higher level. I also volunteered on the maternity unit to gain experience and familiarise myself with all the surrounding noises. This also gave me the chance to talk to midwives and draw on their experience. I am now in my final year of my degree.
My advice to deaf young people: What ever you decide to do will prove to be challenging however, the challenging part is finding a way to overcome the barriers you face. There are some things that you will not be able to do (in my case using a pinard horn) but you need to find a way around your barriers and not let it put you off. Smash through those barriers. Keep going until you hit that brick wall!!!