From SWAT to swaddling: Ex-firearms officer follows dream to become midwife

Siobhan Callaghan spent six years 'protecting the nation's nuclear assets' before studying to become a midwife.

Former counter terrorist officer follows lifelong dream to retrain as a midwife at UWS Supplied

A counter terrorism officer has followed her lifelong dream to become a midwife after protecting the nation for a decade.

Siobhan Callaghan worked as a marine counter terrorism authorised firearms officer with the Ministry of Defence Police before going off to study Nursing and Midwifery at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS).

The mum-of-four explained that after spending six years with Police Scotland she spent four years on a boat working for the Marine Unit and “protecting the nuclear assets of the nation”.

“It sounds very James Bond, but it’s not really like that,” Ms Callaghan joked before going on to describe her time as an officer.

Ms Callaghan has always wanted to be a midwife but put her dreams on hold when she fell pregnant at 18 but said delivering babies was always in the back of her mind.

“I enjoyed my time in the police, but you need to do a fitness test every year and I was getting older. My kids were almost all grown up, and I started to think about my next move.”

The former officer left her role after a decade of protecting the nation and is now a third-year student in the BSc Nursing and Midwifery program at UWS.

Speaking of her time studying with UWS, she added: “It’s been an incredible journey, it’s been hard, but it’s been so satisfying.

“I’m passionate about midwifery and very passionate about the student experience.”

The mother-of-four has taken the experience by storm and is now the president of the Midwifery Society, which is the biggest society at the university.

Ms Callaghan also sits as the student representative on the Nursing and Midwifery Committee within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as well as being a committee member of the Royal College of Midwifery Scotland student support network.

The former officer’s studies have also allowed her to publish articles for The Student Midwife journal about her time as a student in a labour ward, and the sacrifices you must make as a student.

She created the handbook on student midwifery for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and won the UWS Court Medal in 2023.

Now, Ms Callaghan has been nominated for the prestigious national award, Student Midwife of the Year in the Student Nursing Times Awards 2024.

The student said she was “speechless” after receiving the nomination adding that she was “proud” to be the only Scottish candidate in the category.

Connor Murray, programme leader of the BSc, and MSc pre-registration midwifery programmes at UWS said, “Siobhan stands out for her exceptional clinical skills, unwavering empathy, and dedication to patient-centred care.

“Throughout her studies, she has consistently demonstrated a genuine passion for midwifery, going above and beyond to support mothers and colleagues during the birthing journeys.

“Her nomination for this prestigious award is a testament to her hard work, talent, and dedication to the profession.”

Julie Edgar, dean of School of Health & Life Sciences at UWS, said: “We are proud to see Siobhan receive this well-deserved recognition and we wish her well with her midwifery career.

“Siobhan’s nomination reflects the high calibre of our BSc Nursing and Midwifery programmes at UWS.

“We are committed to providing our students with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to become compassionate and competent midwives.

“We are incredibly proud of Siobhan’s and all our students’ achievements and the positive impact she is already making on the lives of mothers and families, colleagues, and other students.

“This nomination is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team who inspire the midwives and nurses of the future and our excellent partnership working with our service colleagues.

“Our Nursing and Midwifery courses are inclusive for all and aim to empower each individual student to reach their full potential.”

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