The Continuity Of Healthcare Midwifery Model And The Relatively New Concept Of Eligible Midwifery

The Continuity Of Healthcare Midwifery Model And The Relatively New Concept Of Eligible Midwifery

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The purpose of this essay is to discuss the many avenues for practice that are available to midwives in Australia with particular focus on the continuity of care midwifery model and the relatively new concept of eligible midwifery. A description of the role, history and availability of eligible midwifery will be provided along with the benefits of providing women with continuity of care from a known midwife.

There are many career avenues for midwives in Australia. It is important to note though that some of the options mentioned here may require the dual registration of nursing and midwifery. Some options are hospital based and some are community based while others may be either hospital or community based. Hospital based options include graduate midwifery programs for graduate midwives, hospital employed midwife (antenatal clinic, birth suite, postnatal ward), birth centre midwife and special care baby unit midwife/nurse. Community based options include general practice/women’s clinic nursing, fertility clinic nursing, lactation consultant and child health nurse. Career options that are available in both hospitals and communities include working as an educator or as an eligible midwife in private practice or midwifery group practice. Eligible midwives may practice privately in the community as home birth midwives or with visiting rights to public and private hospitals. The topic of eligible midwifery will be discussed more in depth later in this essay.

In Australia, graduate midwifery programs are generally 12 months programs, provided by some public and private hospitals, that support newly graduated midwives through a supportive educational program (Clements, Fenwick & Davis, 2012). Graduate midwifery programs, offered b...

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... course must be obtained within 18 months of notation or eligibility will be revoked (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, n.d.). To prove competence to provide pregnancy, labour, birth and postnatal care the midwife must successfully complete an approved professional practice review program such as the Midwifery Practice Review offered by the Australian College of Midwives’ (Australian College of Midwives, n.d. b). The Australian College of Midwives’ Midwifery Practice Review is a peer review program that encourages midwives to self-assess and reflect on their professional practice, identify strengths and weaknesses and enhance their own professional development (Australian College of Midwives, n.d. b). The Australian College of Midwives recommends that eligible midwives undertake this review process every three years (Australian College of Midwives, n.d. b).

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