- Year of graduation:
Dr Marie Lewis became a qualified midwife after completing her Diploma in Midwifery in 1996 and continued her studies at BSc (Hons) in Midwifery at Staffordshire University’s School of Health in 1999.
Marie worked for many years as a practising midwife whilst also completing Masters qualifications and more recently a PhD. Marie is now a Consultant Midwife at Powys Teaching Health Board, leading the development of educational resources, training and seminars to ensure that midwives can offer evidence-based care both in Powys and other areas across the UK.
Here, she reflects on her experience as a student at Staffordshire University’s School of Health and her career to date
A student experience that is not ‘the norm’
“Being a health student is very different to being a student in other subjects” says Marie.
“Instead of attending lecturers on campus and having a hectic social life, we were working on hospital wards and in clinical practice pretty much full-time, then combining this with study blocks at the School of Health, which is based at the hospital.
This meant that links between the lecturers and the hospital were extremely close and we valued studying and worked alongside other trainee medics, ranging from nurses to physiotherapists and doctors.
Developing evidence-based care
Whilst working in clinical settings alongside experienced, qualified professionals gave us all the practical knowledge we needed to ‘do the job’, what we learned from our University lecturers was just as important.
Our lecturers helped us develop our critical thinking – our ability to think outside the box, to critique and to look at things through a lens. This gave me the confidence to critique, question and then apply what I was learning to provide the best possible care as a midwife.
An ongoing passion for research – putting mothers’ choices at the heart of their care
After completing my BSc in Midwifery, I went on to complete a Masters in Medical Ethics and Law, and a PhD in Philosophy. I have secured several different grants to help fund important innovation projects including international work in Jersey, Kenya and New Zealand, I have published my work in the International Journal for Childbirth, the RCM Midwives Journal and the British Journal of Midwifery.
I recently returned from a scholarship in New Zealand, looking at models of maternity care. I am passionate about my work to develop trust in the midwife/mother relationship, supporting and empowering midwives to deliver evidence-based care.
A professional peer support network that lasts for life…
When I studied at the Faculty of Health it was a great community to belong to. My time at Staffordshire University connected me with a peer advice network in the health profession which I still use now – and will continue to use for the rest of my career.”