Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The road to eligibility for the Midwife:

The question is how long will it take to become an eligible midwife? Gone are the days of qualifying as a midwife and practicing autonomously, now we have to jump through hoops. As you may be aware the laws in Australia are changing from the 1st July we go to National Registration, which in itself is not a bad thing. There will be four categories to the register for nurses and midwives: Registered Nurse (RN): Midwife: Non Practicing Midwife: Student nurse / midwife.

You can register as a RN & Midwife, if you are both you can choose to drop one or the other of your qualifications, that means you can register only as an RN or a Midwife should you choose to….. One thing I urge all RN / Midwives before dropping one or the other of your qualifications you will need to check your employment contract to ensure you have not signed a contract to be both…….
If you do maintain both professions you will have to complete the required ongoing professional development for both professions, and ensure you practice in both within a 5 year period otherwise you will not be able to register. There will be two registers, one for the RN and the Midwife.... there will also be a non-practicing Midwife register, and a student register for more information see the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
The other major change is that for midwives you need to declare your indemnity insurance, if you work for a hospital this will be easy you will need to contact your employer and ask them who you are insured with and provide this information to the Board.
The Australian College of Midwives is securing indemnity insurance for midwives, antenatal and postnatal care…..currently there will be no insurance for intrapartum (Homebirth).

One of the requirements for “the eligible” midwife will undoubtedly be Midwifery Practice Review (MPR), however the final requirements for eligibility have not been released yet. I have started this process because I want to be “an eligible midwife” even though I consider myself one….. I do not meet the government requirements. As from the 1st November midwives will be able to claim a Medicare number, (by the way midwife is not on the list until after the 1st November) now this is also no easy feat…… there are online courses that need to be completed first…..but you cannot do them until November… you feel like we are being screwed…. YES.

What I can do now is get my MPR review out the way…… what does this mean….. it means that you need to give yourself some time to complete this process and you need more than a few hours. I am traditionally one who keeps a portfolio, sets annual and 5 year plans as a rule, so none of this is new to me…. However if you have not done this before then allow yourself more time.

I have just completed the first stage of the MPR, that is; a synopsis of my CV, qualifications, current position, previous positions, professional development and key achievements; this takes about 2 pages. Followed by my Midwifery Philosophy half a page; clear current job description; you are half way now; next, reflect on your practice using the ANMC Competency Standards for the Midwife; you will use the four sub headings; Legal and Professional Practice; Midwifery Knowledge and Practice; Midwifery as Primary Health Care and finally; Reflective and Ethical Practice: you will use examples from your clinical practice to address each competency (we do it every day, we just do not necessarily recognize it or relate our work to our competences) this makes us write done what we do ; Now the bulk of the work is completed…all that is left is your short (12 mths) and long term goals (5yrs), you have to make your goals achievable…… that’s it all done… it took me all in all about 6-8 hours…. a few hours each day. Your synopsis should be submitted to the ACM fours week before your interview….. so that they can review your work to ensure it is all compete and meet the requirements…..then all that is left to do is the hour interview…..the interview will be with two reviewers a consumer and a midwife; Watch this space….

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