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How to become a midwife in Australia: careers in nursing

Midwives are responsible for providing healthcare for pregnant women in Australia. They provide antenatal care and assessments, support women during the birth process, and give advice on newborn care once the baby is born. Midwives also provide parents-to-be with education, either in individual or group settings. Working alongside other medical professionals in the obstetrics fields, they provide continuous care for pregnant women and their babies. To become a midwife, you need either a Bachelor or Midwifery degree, or if you are a registered nurse you can complete a graduate diploma or Masters degree in midwifery.
Pathways

Being a midwife: daily duties

During pregnancy and childbirth, midwives provide women with professional care and advice. They assess maternal and baby health during the pregnancy, refer women tof blood tests and ultrasounds, and provide information about pregnancy and birth matters such as nutrition, birth plans, pain management and breastfeeding. They also provide classes to prepare pregnant women and their partners for labour and birth.

Tasks:

  • Creation of healthcare plans for pregnant women and newborns
  • Organising medical and imaging consultations
  • Supporting women during labour and delivery
  • Education women and their families about pregnancy issues
Skills

Being a midwife: skills for success

To be a midwife, you need an in-depth knowledge of pregnancy, labour and birth. These can be high-stress positions, so the ability to make decisions under pressure is vital. Midwives also need to be able to relate to people from a variety of backgrounds. Other professionals rely on midwives to produce accurate information, so having good attention to detail and sound communication abilities are also valuable skills.
Skills/attributes
  • Comprehensive understanding of pregnancy and birth
  • Ability to handle stress and work well under pressure
  • Good people skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Specs

Specialised roles within midwifery

Over time, midwives may find they want to specialise in particular aspects of midwifery or healthcare, and dedicate themselves to working in a that area. Options include working in an educational role, as a community midwife or taking on a management role.
  • Midwifery Educator
    Midwifery educators utilise their professional skills and experience to teach, train and support midwifery students. It is essential they have a good focus on personal development and be up to date with best practise.
  • Community Midwives
    Rather than providing care to women during pregnancy, delivery and after birth in a hospital, community midwives do so in their homes. They generally work with smaller groups of clients and are on-call throughout their pregnancies.
  • Obstetrics Manager
    Obstetrics managers are responsible for coordinating the midwives, nurses, doctors and other medical staff on their ward. Their roles include managing staff and budgets, developing policies and procedures, strategic planning and allocating resources.
Pathways

Educational pathways for midwives

To become a midwife in Australia, you need to complete a Bachelor of Nursing degree followed by postgraduate study in midwifery, or complete a Bachelor of Midwifery degree.
  • Start your career
    Start your career in nursing and midwifery by finding appropriate courses.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Add to your professional accreditation and take the next step in your career pathway.
  • Build your resume
    Set yourself apart from the crowd and give your career an added kick.
  • Industry requirements
    To practise as a midwife in Australia, you must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your health career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    Demand for midwives in Australia is increasing, and there are abundant job opportunities for qualified professionals in this field.

Resources for Midwife

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