We had the pleasure of talking to South African midwife and TrueProfile.io Member, Sidumisile Dumisani (Dumi), who currently works in the United Arab Emirates. Dumi tells us about her midwifery journey, why she chose this career path, how the pandemic changed her work environment and her exciting plans for the future.
Dumi, can you tell us about your work as a midwife?
I currently work as a midwife in the United Arab Emirates. Before moving here, I worked in South Africa in a Maternity Obstetric unit for four years. This was a midwife-led maternity unit that catered for low-risk cases. High-risk cases were referred to a tertiary institution.
Why did you choose a career in midwifery with all the other nursing careers available?
I studied for a comprehensive BCur Nursing degree. This course allowed me to “taste” various nursing disciplines like Psychiatric Nursing, Community Nursing, Medical Nursing and Midwifery. As l am a very emotional person by nature, I cannot stand to see anything that causes harm or ongoing pain and suffering. That’s why during this experience, l fell in love with midwifery. I love to see happy and positive endings. In midwifery, we always focus on the happiness of the patients and their families. In my role, I am with my patients for every step of their journey. Although it may be challenging, it is always rewarding.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a midwife?
The shortage of midwives is a worldwide challenge. As a midwife supervisor, it pains me to see a limited number of younger people pursuing careers in midwifery. We still have a lot to do to try and attract younger generations to embark on a rewarding career in midwifery. It is a great profession that is highly recognized internationally.
What does a typical day working as a midwife look like for you?
It is always busy, filled with cases requiring critical thinking and knowledge sharing. All women are not the same and no two deliveries are the same. Women go through different and unique journeys to deliver their babies. Midwives accompany and support this journey, ensuring the safest arrival of the newest family member.
How has your work changed due to the pandemic?
The pandemic affected my work due to the limitations it created. It is hard to see my patients delivering their babies with only a limited number of family members. The birthing process has always been a family gathering event. The impact of COVID-19 limited the family support system.
Interacting with members of my team is also a challenge as we always need to maintain social distance. Before the pandemic, we used to take our breaks and eat together. They say “sharing is caring”, but now we cannot share anything because we need to protect the world and limit the spread of the coronavirus.
What advice would you give to anyone considering taking the midwifery career path?
I absolutely recommend midwifery as a career path. Midwives not only help pregnant women deliver, but they take care of all women, whether they are pregnant or not. Midwifery is about taking care of the mother and baby’s well-being. It is a passion and a big responsibility that goes way beyond delivering a newborn baby.
What core nursing skills do you think are the most important for the delivery of midwifery care?
Midwifery care is not only about being qualified and licensed by the licensing bodies. It goes beyond caring skills. I think a great midwife should be:
- An excellent communicator, able to listen, respond appropriately, deliver adequate clear information to patient, family and multidisciplinary team
- Flexible and able to think critically
- Able to analyze, predict situations and open to learning from others
Do you plan on moving into other areas of healthcare in the future?
Absolutely. Since graduating with a BCur Nursing degree I went on to do a Masters degree in Advanced Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing. I now look forward to reaching my dream as a professor, teaching the young and future generations to engage in the pathway of midwifery excellence. I plan to enroll for a Ph.D. next year and continue empowering myself to become not just the best midwife but a woman with drive and passion that contributes to the world by empowering other women to be the best in what they do.
What is your most memorable experience as a midwife?
I delivered a breech delivery in the back of a car in South Africa!
What is it like to live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)?
The UAE is a beautiful country. I love the lifestyle here. The summers are very hot, but l enjoy going to the beaches and I love how safe it is here. I must say that it is one of the safest places in the world to live. You’ll never stop visiting places and traveling around because there is so much to see and do. There is so much beauty to be found in the UAE.
Outside of work, what do you do in your free time?
I love exercising – running, spending time in the gym, spending time with my son and going out with friends.