It wasn’t until she gave birth to her first child that Jody Kallis truly understood the role midwives play in supporting women through their pregnancy, birth and postnatally. As her family grew, so did her admiration for the profession. It was Jody’s ambition of becoming a midwife that gave her the push to go back to study as a mother of five and fulfil her dream.
“After years of research, I knew that Griffith was the university to apply for,” she says. Jody had heard many stories about Griffith’s midwifery students being successful in gaining employment at the end of their degree. The Bachelor of Midwifery program and its partnership with the Gold Coast University Hospital was something she wanted to be a part of, but the timing was never quite right.
When her youngest turned one, she had a window of opportunity to return to study and complete an Adult Tertiary Preparation course to increase her Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) ranking.
Jody had not studied for 17 years prior to the preparation course. She then went on to do one year of Registered Nursing at Griffith University before transferring to Midwifery.
When she reflects on her journey, Jody doesn’t shy away from the unconventional path she took as she feels it prepared her for the academic side of her Midwifery degree.
“Midwifery was always my goal; the previous courses were steppingstones to get me where I wanted to be, and here I am in my second year of the Bachelor of Midwifery at Griffith University,” Jody beams.
“Juggling my family life, work at the hospital and studies definitely isn’t easy. My biggest challenge is trying to balance the clinical and continuity of care hours, and stay on track. I am very lucky to be surrounded by an amazing family and support group who can fill the gaps when I’m not home.”
Jody is determined to make the most out of every learning opportunity her degree has to offer. A full-time student, a large component of her studies is self-led and delivered online. She attends simulated labs every third Thursday on campus which represents a great opportunity to meet up face to face with her lecturers and fellow students.
“Midwifery at Griffith is quite different to other university degrees in that we do not do our placements in blocks. We begin placement at the hospitals and outreach clinics straight away and our weekly shifts continue throughout the entire degree.”
When she recounts the first time she helped deliver a baby, she says: “It was all a bit surreal. It had been something I had imagined for years. It was hard to believe I was a part of another woman’s birthing journey. Being there was a whole different experience, it was still just as incredible.
“There’s a tremendous amount of responsibility and things to think about surrounding the birth. Midwifery is not a profession you can learn theoretically; it’s a hands-on career and there is no better place to learn than alongside qualified midwives in real life situations.
“Every shift or continuity of care appointment is full of learning opportunities,” she adds.
Her advice to anyone considering studying Midwifery at Griffith University: “Make sure you have flexibility in your life and have family or friends close by. It is a very demanding degree but so, so rewarding. The teaching staff are so admirable and passionate about midwifery, it is a pleasure to be learning through them. Support is never far away.”
If like Jody, you’re ready to follow your passion for delivering life-changing outcomes for women, find out more about studying Midwifery at Griffith University, Australia’s No. 1 ranked university for Nursing and Midwifery.