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Swansea Bay welcomes first overseas midwife

Swansea Bay’s first overseas midwife has been given a warm welcome by her patients and colleagues since arriving at Singleton Hospital.

Abigail Peprah (pictured) originally qualified in her home country of Ghana but decided on a new career in Swansea.

Originally she had no plans to move to the UK or even to become a midwife. But she had a change of mind when her sister had a baby and she saw for herself what being a midwife involved.

“It was all lovely and the midwives cared for her very well,” she recalled.

In 2016, Abigail, then aged 20, started midwifery training as a student in Ghana. This was a three-year diploma course which involved classroom studies, working on the ward and domiciliary placements.

She graduated in 2019, achieving her Registered Midwifery Certificate from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana.

Ghana has a National Service Scheme for registered nurses and midwives, among other professions. This required Abigail to work in Ghanaian hospitals for two years, which she did from 2019-2021.

After this Abigail had to decide where to go next in order to progress her career. “I wanted to further my knowledge and gain experience in technological advancements within midwifery,” she said.

Abigail decided on the UK. But before she could work there, she had to complete an Occupational English Test (OET). She took the OET in Poland as it was her nearest test centre with this exam availability. OET's are designed to assess people working in healthcare on their English language capability.

“It was a long process to get here, lots of exams and long hours of learning,” she said.

After arriving in the UK last year, Abigail passed the Objective Structured Clinical Examination, a practical exam which tests clinical and communication skills.

After completing all her exams, Abigail was able to pick her location of choice for midwifery work. Out of the options she was given, Croydon or Swansea, she chose the latter.

“I did not want to live in a big city and wanted to be somewhere with fewer interruptions,” she explained.

“To me, I feel like I would be safe here in Swansea and it is a quieter place to live.

“The beach was another big deciding factor.”

Abigail arrived in Swansea last July and now works as a midwife on the labour ward in Singleton.

“Everyone has been super nice and welcoming to me. I appreciate all of their hard work to help me settle in,” she said.

“My colleagues have been very supportive, putting me on the systems and making sure I know how they work.

“There are lots of work habits to get used to as I’ve found working in both countries really different.

“The parents are lovely as well. I know that labour is not a nice thing to go through, but I have not encountered a patient who wasn’t nice.”

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