Thursday, April 29, 2010

Celebrating International Midwives Day 5th May....all over the world

"Since that time, it has been celebrated every year on May 5 and over 50 nations recognize its importance. Midwifery care is needed internationally. Midwives fill a special role in maternity care by decreasing maternal and neonatal mortality rates."

…the Women of Afghanistan, Graduating. What a great achievement this is....

This site is worth looking at....A Celebration of Women World HUB @ Wheel of Women Leaders that Care I just love these pictures..... it epitomises some of the challenges of women through out the world.... and makes me realise how lucky we are in Australia...... lets work together to make it a better world.....

"Midwives honor mothers and babies, and they believe in the ability to birth without unnecessary intervention. Celebrating this day will bring more positive publicity to midwifery care that will entitle women to a larger selection of birth choices."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ANMC here to stay......

This is great news... and thank you to all those people who submitted letters, emails etc to their Member of Parliament to ensure that the ANMC did not disappear....
This was a huge error on the part of the profession not to have this body formalised years ago...another lesson learned..... Just to remind everyone the ANMC is a peak body established in 1992 to facilitate a national approach to nursing and midwifery regulation. The ANMC works with state and territory Nursing and Midwifery Regulatory Authorities (NMRA) in evolving standards for statutory nursing and midwifery regulation. These standards are flexible, effective and responsive to the health care requirements of the Australian population.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010
ANMC appointed as independent Accreditation body
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) welcomes the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (AHWMC) decision to endorse a newly constituted ANMC as the independent accrediting body for nursing and midwifery. Read the full Media Release click here
Currently nursing and midwifery courses are accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Regulatory Authorities in each of the states and territories. This decision brings nursing and midwifery in line with the other professions which already have independent accrediting bodies.

Here is an example of lobbying working for the right result.....

“This is the result of years of lobbying and work by those in the nursing and midwifery professions who are heartened to see this day has finally come” said Adjunct Associate Professor Moira Laverty.

Change happens slowly with persistent have to have a vision, drive and passion and the world is your oyster...

I am so pleased, because this means all current codes stay the same for a few years....thank God for some common sense....

Having your say..... putting in submissions

The current state of play in WA is that Bill C has not gone through, what does that mean.... that means that WA will not be ready on the 1st of July for National Registration....we will probably be a month or two behind the rest of the country...Tasmania & SA are in the same boat as WA....

On 1 April 2010 The Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council announced its approval of national health practitioner registration standards in regards to the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for the Health Professions. The approval includes standards for scheduled medicines endorsements for suitably qualified and rural and isolated practice registered nurses (RNs). The proposed scheduled medicines endorsements for midwives, provided by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (the Board), has been delayed "pending the outcome of further priority discussions between the Board, and Commonwealth, State and Territory officials." For more information, read the 1 April 2010 Communique – Health Ministers Announce Approval of National Health Practitioner Registration Standards.

The latest documents sent for public consultation have been the Guidelines & Assessment Framework for the Recognition and Endorsement of Eligible Midwives from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and the National Guidance on collaborative Maternity Care from National Health and Medical Research Council.
The only way to have a voice is to be proactive and that means responding to these types of is important to get as many people responding as possible because your comment count and helps to make new policies. The same applies to being politically active...this means lobbying your politicians for change.... At the end of the day it means that you need to spend some time writing about what you would like to see does take some effort on your part to create change.

Putting in submission is means you write what you would like to see changed about the policy and all submissions are published on the website and hopefully these comments are taken into consideration and some changes occur, that is if we are all on the same page for the change....for instance lets use one criteria from the Eligible midwife document.... the Board would like the 'eligible midwife' to have three years experience before they can practice independently.... in order to change this the submissions would have to all say 'where is the evidence for this criteria?' and that this is not acceptable because once you have finished your course as a midwife you are ready to practice as could argue that one year to gain experience as a graduate would be acceptable but not 3, or you could argue that once qualified you are ready to practice. The majority of comments would all have to say the same thing......However, you usually have to use a computer and email your response....but don't let that stop you....

I guess the proof will be in the pudding so to say..... when they release the next draft documents...... watch the blog or the websites to see when the submissions are published.... lets hope for the best.....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Coping with stress..... for Women

Life is forever busy.... and we fit so much into it, everyone I know is busier than ever, no matter who I am talking to the general conversation is that life is busy. When I was at a meeting during the week, three of my colleagues put their hand up to take on more work...because there was no one else to do these people are already overworked or very why do we do it? why do we say YES when really it should be saying NO.
Taking time out is not as easy as you think, as there is no one to do your job, workloads are high....and there is so much to do within every aspect of, friends, and self.

Yes we all need a degree of stress in our lives, it helps us learn and grow, however as I get older I am finding that I seem less able to handle as much stress and my body is now giving me physical signs of stress.... so lets look at what stress is and the symptoms ....
Stress is a normal fact of life, stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones that prepare us for action (to fight or flee). However it is how we manage it...
Because of the overabundance of stress in our modern lives, we usually think of stress as a negative experience, but from a biological point of view, stress can be a neutral, negative, or positive experience. In general, stress is related to both external and internal factors. External factors include your job, physical environment, relationships with others, home life, and any other situations, challenges, snags, and your own expectations you're faced with on a daily basis. Internal factors determine your body's ability to respond to, and deal with, the external stress-inducing factors. Internal factors which influence your ability to handle stress include the way you eat, so nutrition, overall health and fitness, your emotional well-being, and the amount of sleep and rest you get. For me sleep and rest are the last things on my list, followed closely by exercise..... I seem to be a night owl. Diet I try to do the right thing...however eating out and late are aspects that could be reviewed. As for work this is one of the biggest stressors...

The degree of stress in our lives depends upon individual factors such as our physical health, the quality of our interpersonal relationships, the number of commitments and responsibilities we carry, the degree of others' dependence upon us, expectations of us, the amount of support we receive from others, and the number of changes or traumatic events that have recently occurred in our lives.
There is now evidence that points to abnormal stress,responses as causing various diseases or conditions such as: migraine headaches, asthma, diabetes, fluctuating blood sugar levels, clinical depression,chronic anxiety states, high blood pressure, heart disease, and addictive disorders. I wonder if sex addiction comes in this category.....? A very important point is that stress can begin in the womb and recur throughout life....

When women experience stress, their behavior sometimes changes. Examples; of behavioral symptoms of stress in women: overeating or eating less, over sleeping or sleeping less, procrastinating, isolating one's self, increased use of alcohol and cigarettes, drug use, cynicism and or bitterness. One of the most common behaviour symptoms is irritability, followed by anger, mood swings, and weeping. Constant worrying is also shown by women under stress.


So how do we manage stress; there are the standard strategies:look around to see what you can change and don't sweat the small stuff.....some tips:
avoid stressful situations, change how you react to stress, set priorities and goals, change how you see the situation, find relaxation techniques, find out what is most important to you, Relaxation Techniques, exercise, healthy diet....

Are you at risk of this simple Burnout score was 46 which is "I am at risk if I am not careful"..... now there is a surprise..... It is hard to change the way you are used to working but when the warnings are is time to sit up and take note.... so for me the first step is to hit the pavement and doing some walking..... second get some more sleep.... and third.... relaxation.... that's my first three steps...lets see how I go..

This website has some great ideas and strategies...Stress Management MindTools: have a look its worth a visit..

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Governance, Processes, Committees and Transparency

Meetings, meetings and more meetings..... who would think that meetings can cause such diverse many to keep people to keep happy, too many conflicts of interest and different points of view... how do you balance the equation... from the kids soccer / cricket committees to national boards all these delicate balances need to be considered...however you then put personal opinions, passion and stress in the equation you have a recipe for disaster... or a souffle that has exploded....

When things go astray it is important to fall back on the process or governance of the committee and often people do not fully understand these processes or they are not in place for members to follow.... clear boundaries, structures, documentation, job descriptions and polices need to be maintained so that everyone is clear about the process, so that when things go wrong or questions are asked there is a clear trail and process to follow... and for the membership to be fully informed..... so that transparency is obvious...

Good governance has 8 major characteristics. It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law.

I have to say from when the children were playing junior soccer to my current involvement with committees not much has changed....we all do it because we love the cause, we have passion, its voluntary and we work very very hard to improve conditions....and get knocked from time to time... but at the end of the day healthy debate makes us think, changes processes to make them better and life goes on....and hopefully we still like each other at the end of the day..... we never grow with out here's to good governace.....and many more meetings....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Who is the 'eligible midwife' - jumping through hoops

Well here it is the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has released a draft of what 'eligible midwife' may look like.....

The Key points are as follows;
1. Current general registration as a midwife in Australia with no restrictions on practice - having as it does all the requirements for eligibility for registration under the Act.

2. Practice for at least three years across the continuum of midwifery care (ante-natal care, intrapartum care and post-partum care of women and their infants), within the previous 5 years.

3. participation in an additional 20 hours per year of continuing professional development relevant to the continuum of midwifery care.

4. successful completion of a NMBA approved professional midwifery practice review program for midwives working across the continuum of midwifery care.

5. compliance with the collaboration requirements for eligible midwives- that is the requirements for midwives to work collaboratively with other health professionals as outlined in regulation and national health policy instruments.

6. successful completion of an accredited and approved program of study determined by the Board to develop midwives' knowledge and skills in prescribing, or a program that is substantially equivalent to such an approved program of study (at midwifery post graduate level and designed around the flour components of prescribing - information gathering, clinical decision making, generation of medication order and monitoring the review.

As the model of care for eligible midwives is across the continuum of maternity care, eligibility is contingent upon all requirements being met..... therefore once a midwife has been endorsed as an eligible midwife; and authorised and provided with the necessary provider number by Medicare Australia: READ the full document Guidelines & Assessment framework for the recognition & endorsement of eligible midwives

2 Endorsement to practice as an eligible midwife (to read the full document click the hyperlink)

To be entitled to endorsement under section 98 of the National Law an applicant wishing to be identified as an eligible midwife must be able to meet all the requirements including being a currently registered midwife in Australia; being able to demonstrate through professional review of practice at least 3 years experience across the continuum of midwifery care within the 5 year period preceding the application, comply with the collaboration requirements for eligible midwives; and have an approved qualification to administer, obtain, possess, prescribe and supply scheduled medicines required for practice across that
continuum of midwifery care.

Wording to appear on the register
Endorsed as an eligible midwife working across the continuum of midwifery care and qualified to provide the associated services, order diagnostic investigations and administer, obtain, possess, prescribe and supply schedule 2,3,4 & 8 medicines in
accordance with relevant State and Territory legislation, required for midwifery practice.

If you wish to provide comments on this paper, please lodge a written submission in electronic form by email to by close of business on Wednesday 27 April 2010.

My point of view is that a Midwife is a Midwife....and a Midwife should work across the continuum of maternity care....this in its self will make you an eligible midwife... but not according to the Government... we have to jump through all these hoops to be able to claim MBS & PBS..... in order to be a eligible midwife we have to be insured and complete everything stated above......

I will be putting in a submission to say that a midwife is a midwife once you have completed your other country puts extra constraints on a midwife to make them so called 'eligible'..... if anything I could concede a year post registration... a graduate year before a midwife chooses to work in the community.... please anyone using maternity services can submit a comment to the NMBA... be proactive and have your say.....

lets see what this space.......

Monday, April 12, 2010

RCNA offering freebee to student nurses.......

On reflection............It came to my attention when teaching the undergraduate nurses that the RCNA was offering free membership to student I pride myself on being pro-active and passing this enthusiasm onto the students... I thought what a great incentive for the students to have free membership to a professional body that offers them support, information, collegiality and professional support.... so I thought i would engage the students on a discussion about professional bodies and their usefulness and ask how many of the students had taken up the RCNA's offer of free membership.... to my surprise...not one of the 31 students had picked up on this fabulous offer.... this was a shock to me...when I asked them said she didn't know what the RCNA had to offer her , 2 others said it was for a limited time and the rest just were not interested.... is this a sign of the times? or a societal problem... do our students get everything to easy...? or am I making a mountain out of a mole hill.... I don't think so. I think that this is apathy starting as a student....yes I know students have a lot of work...but so does everyone... or maybe it is that they really do not appreciate the benefits of belonging to a professional body... or is this the problem with nursing... how many doctors do you think would never consider belonging to their professional body? I wonder if they have this problem?
It begs the question, do nurses and student nurses really believe in the profession of 'nursing' and its professional body? what do you do to increase membership to professional bodies?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

24 Hour Virtual International Day of the Midwife 2010

The count down has began to this great event......
Take some time out and have a look at the 24 Hour Virtual International Day of the Midwife 2010. Come and celebrate with us.... the 24 hour Virtual day has been planned by Sarah Stewart from Otago Polytechnic Education Development Centre (NZ) and Dr Deborah Davis from the University of Technology in Sydney.

I participated & presented last year and found it a brilliant experience.... most amazing was being able to talk to students and midwives all over the world sitting at my desk at home......its a great concept, networking, sharing with like minded people.

What do you need to be part of it....well that's easy, a computer, Internet and Elluminate.... what is Elluminate it is a virtual meeting room, you need to get access to it .....please click here: How to use Elluminate

Check out the times and the program 24 Hour Virtual International Day of the Midwife 2010 - planning page

Go on be daring try something different..... spread the word see you there.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

confusion over Active and Passive - MidPLUS

To clarify the difference between Active and Passive activities:

Active: otherwise referred to as Category A CPD activities: this requires active participation; examples of this would be when you act as a preceptor or mentor to a student, when you participate in a case review or clinical meetings, present at conferences, lectures, seminar or other professional meetings, doing an audit or helping with an audit, developing or reviewing midwifery polices, protocols or guideline, undertaking midwifery or midwifery-related online or distance education, researching or writing journal articles, reflecting on feedback from women or keeping a reflective journal.....these are to name a few.

Passive: otherwise referred to as Category B CPD activities: requires less learning from the participant. The main focus of this activity is to enhance the knowledge that already exists.... in other words updating or increasing knowledge or skills.
Examples of this would be; reading professional midwifery or midwifery related journal articles or books, participating in midwifery skills workshops

Remember you need 20 points from the Active section and 10 points from the Passive section totally 30 points each year. Also 1 point equates to approximately 1 hour.

The MidPLUS is up for review if you have any points, ideas or something is not clear let me know. Enjoy the journey........

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Starting MidPLUS my journey.......into the abyss

I can hear you saying what is MidPLUS..... well you might just ask that.... I am usually very diligent with maintaining paper base professional portfolio, I always have not sure why some people are just analy retentive about things like that and I am one of them. I am slowly moving to an iPortfolio as well....but that is another blog. What I like about MidPLUS is that it can be both paper or computer base which ever you I am in limbo it is great for me...

What is MidPLUS

MidPLUS is a best practice continuing professional development (CPD) program for Australian midwives. MidPLUS is uniquely designed by midwives for midwives.
MidPLUS aims to help you to plan and participate in CPD activities that are relevant to your learning needs and your midwifery practice or role. In so doing, MidPLUS supports the provision of high quality, woman-centred midwifery care. (ACM)

When you enroll in MidPLUS you receive a Portfolio (folder) and reflective practice guide; planning pro formas; a personal online CPD log; regular updates about quality CPD activities for midwives, and ongoing support to assist you to keep up-to date with developments in midwifery practice. its a great package..... well worth it and the support when you call because you are unsure of how to complete a section was tremendous.

With National Registration and Eligibility looming I wanted to be up to scratch.... ready to that means having evidence to prove I am an eligible midwife.

The challenge for me has been starting MidPLUS, the folder has been sitting collecting dust on my bookshelf, staring down at me begging the question "when are you going to start me and see what I am all about. You paid good money for me - so now put me to good use".
Procrastination is a great thing...... but today I conquered MidPLUS and it wasn't that bad.... in fact I am total I logged 711 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) once i started i couldn't stop....and I am going to share how I did that.

Firstly I write all study days, conferences, meetings,reviewing policy, reading an articles, and teaching sessions in my diary. My certificates are usually in my portfolio and reflections stored in my computer. It was a matter of collating all that information into the new format. It was good flicking through my diary for the dates....

There are two ways of logging actives: Active and Passive; attending a study day would be active and reading an article would be passive. You need to complete 30 hours of active CPD in a year, but you know we generally do more than that, this is a way of logging what we do.

First step; login to MidPLUS then scroll down and choose Log an activity - here you will write the description of the activity, date, time and small reflection of what you learnt, then you will log the hours it took - so I will use the Magic of Midwifery study day as an example - the points awarded for the day would be 6 points which is equal to 1 point per hour (not including breaks).... this is the general rule, this would be active; as I was on the education committee and I would be reviewing the presentations I could log that time as passive so I would log 2 hours for reviewing the program and presentations. To validate this activity I would upload the certificate of attendance or the program for the day, I would also upload the minutes from the education committee meetings as proof of my participation.

Another example would be I am asked to review the hospital policy on transferring neonates to the teritary unit. I would log this as active, the time it takes me to review the policy and the articles I read to improve the policy and keep it evidenced based.... therefore this may take me a few hours over several days.... in total 2 hrs a day for a week = 10hrs of active CPD.... I would upload the new policy as evidence of the activity. Remembering that my MidPLUS is totally confidential.

Take the first step and start your MidPLUS.....if you haven't enrolled yet into MidPLUS now is your opportunity...... click here for more information.....go ahead it is well worth the effort....

Today by the time I logged the ACM Conference in SA, my presentation & poster, meetings as an active member of the college and NMBWA, together with my blogs I was surprised to see how it all added up...... I also created learning needs for this year.. On reflection of the activities of the last year I did also realise that I need to reduce my work load.....

My daughter said if I could put this passion into my health I would be fit.... instead of battling to find time to walk everyday..... but that's another blog.... she also said to practice saying the word "NO" when it comes to work..... strange phenomenon that would be for me.....

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