Maria Yunusa, alumna, BSc Midwifery graduate
How one LSBU midwifery graduate feels the support and training she received during her degree has helped her start the career she always wanted
Maria Yunusa is a woman living her dream. A qualified midwife working in a hospital setting providing antenatal care and advice to women and their babies, she feels her new career is the result of an exciting journey with LSBU.
“I was working in mental health as a medical secretary, so my duties included general admin, making and receiving referrals, and sending out correspondence to clients and agencies,” she says. “However, I knew that my real calling was midwifery – to provide great support to women and their families at a time when they may feel most vulnerable.”
Choosing a university
In order to turn her dream into reality, Maria knew that she needed to be trained at one of the best universities in the country for Health and Social Care courses, one that cared for its students and had support systems that help students to excel. She chose LSBU.
“It was a great decision,” says Maria. “I loved so many things about studying at LSBU. The central London location was ideal, and provided an exciting city experience. The facilities are modern and well maintained, like the Student Centre.”
LSBU provided me with the quality teaching content and skills I needed to make me employable and effective at my role. I could not have asked for more.
A key part of our BSc (Hons) Midwifery degree is the compulsory clinical placement in a hospital, along with four weeks of elective placements in the final year. It was time that Maria considers to have been very well spent: “During one of my elective placements, I worked with the Maternity Clinical Governance team to understand how it improves the care we provide, making the Trust a better and safer place to birth and work.”
During her time with the Maternity Clinical Governance team, Maria worked alongside the Audit Midwife and the Quality and Standards Manager. Her role involved carrying out two audits, something she found very enjoyable. “It required more than the one week I had with them,” she says, “so I did most of it in my own time as I was interested in audits anyway.”
Maria presented the audit findings at a Women’s Health audit meeting – the first time a student midwife had ever presented there. “It made me nervous,” Maria recalls, “but it was very empowering. I had support from LSBU lecturers who attended the meeting to listen to my presentation and supported me through the process.”
Starting a career
Maria’s work experience helped her as she started her career, and she now works as a midwife in a hospital setting. “What I love most about my job goes back to the reason I embarked on this midwifery journey in the first place,” she says. “As an evidence-based practitioner, I really enjoy being able to give woman and their families the right information along with appropriate care and support to enhance their overall maternity experience.”
Maria freely admits that midwifery is not without its challenges, but believes that her time at LSBU has helped her to meet those challenges head on. “One of the most important skills I need is communication,” she says. “In healthcare, we work with people from various backgrounds, and can deal with extremely happy moments and sad times when things do not go as anticipated.”
The communication skills I learned at LSBU is something I know I can count on – to listen, empathise, acknowledge and accept what is happening around me.
Transparency in practice
Maria also studied the importance of transparency in practice, which she feels has provided her with an excellent platform to continue her own development. “While at LSBU, I learned how essential it is to be open and honest to ourselves and service users when things go wrong,” she says. “I’m always prepared to escalate concerns when necessary, and complete incident forms when needed. I truly believe that it is the only way we can learn from our mistakes and improve the quality of the care we offer.”
As Maria looks ahead to an exciting future, she hasn’t forgotten the importance of her time at LSBU – particularly the support she received. “It provided me with the mental and emotional stability I needed to see me through my degree,” she says. “Going to a different university without the same level of support would have meant a different outcome for me. I strongly recommend LSBU.”