Trainee midwife Samantha Bradnock shows inspirational determination, guts and perseverance to follow her chosen career.
“I have delivered 28 babies and yes, they are slippery but no, I’m not going to drop that baby!” Samantha Bradnock
“When I was 18, I got a place at university where I was invited to do an occupational health assessment. I thought it would be something like measles vaccinations but I sat opposite a lady who told me that I would not be able to be a midwife. That I couldn’t hold a baby or deliver a baby. I then went down to the university and they were not helpful, saying how are you going to take bloods etc?”
“In the end they said they didn’t think I would be able to provide safe practice. I was heart-broken. I cried for two weeks. My mum cried. She thought it was all her fault. It wasn’t.”
“For the first time in my life at 18 I hated my hand. I didn’t want to do anything any more. I couldn’t see an end goal.”
“But I got some A levels that were better than expected and I thought a back-up idea would be to study nutrition. So I went to Bournemouth University but after a few weeks I said this is not what I want to do and I started telling people what had happened. I told my tutor that I needed to be the one saying what I could and could not do. We had a lovely chat.”
“I was told being a midwife is as much about communication and building a rapport with the mother as about clinical skills.”
“I reapplied to do midwifery but we were so nervous as we did not want me to be turned down again. I had to have the same Occupational Health Assessment but the course leader said whatever is written in the OHA Report I am tearing it up. She believed in me.
“I also discovered that my situation was covered by the Equality Act 2010.”
“My department has been so supportive. I was worried about the practical training as I didn’t want to the known as the student with one hand. Half way through my practice I was diagnosed with cancer so I was then going to be the student with one hand AND cancer but I had a lot of support. The first university I applied to just did not have that support in place.”
“Bournemouth University has given me the most amazing support. They have that trust in me to let me find my own way. There are traditional ways of doing things but doing things differently is not wrong. Being part of the midwifery team is really all about teamwork.”
“I have delivered 28 babies and yes, they are slippery but no, I’m not going to drop that baby!”
“It is down to the employer to make reasonable adjustments but I have not needed any. We can do whatever job we want to do.”
“Supporting a Reach family as a midwife confirmed my desire to support women. So my message is don’t give up! If you face a situation where you know people are not going to be supportive you need to find someone else. You can’t always change people’s perceptions but things are definitely getting better. So far only two people have ever asked me about my arm and once I’ve qualified, I will be telling that first university the mistake they made!”
Read the entire Within Reach here: https://reach.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Within-Reach-Winter-2019-web-copy11571.pdf
Watch Samanthas incredibly moving story here: