Thursday, October 2, 2008

Midwifery Practice Review workshop

A College of Midwives workshop on MidPLUS and Midwifery Practice Review was held in Carlton today. Those who attended were, notably, midwives in independent practice, in group practices, and a few who are usually seen at College events. Patrice Hickey who has appeared previously on this blog, welcomed the presenters and attendants as Victorian president of the College. Patrice is the boss midwife (not sure of her title!) at Sunshine hospital, and a contingent of midwives who are part of the new Midwifery Group Practices at Sunshine were also present.
The sessions were interesting and well presented, guiding participants through the processes that have been set up for midwives to record ongoing professional development and prepare for the formal practice review.

I was very disappointed that more midwives were not there.

Having been there, and profited from the presentations (while knitting a pretty summer hat for my grand daughter Poppy) I have to ask myself why were there only 30 or so midwives in the room? Why not 300? Here are a few of my thoughts:
* Was there adequate promotion? I received at least one email and a letter in the post, and it was noted in the recent issue of Australian Midwifery News. I expect there was a mailout to hospital maternity units. Members of the College who didn't know about it are probably not reading the College materials.
* Are there too many professional events? This is possibly the reason for some not attending. Next week there is a 2-day seminar on emerging issues in pregnancy, birth, and postnatal care at the Women's. A couple of weeks after that there is a symposium on Having a Baby in Victoria, hosted by Maternity Coalition. There are online meetings and tutorials about many relevant topics that can be downloaded from the web. Midwives have plenty of opportunity to access formal and informal learning.
* Are midwives complacent about continuing professional development? I think so. We have not had any fixed requirement in the past - when we renew our registration each year, we pay a fee and make a declaration that we are competent to practice. This is one of the areas that we are going to be forced to change, in that national regulation of health professionals, to be introduced in 2010, will mandate ongoing professional learning and peer review. Audits will be carried out as a routine. In less than two years' time midwives will be expected to adopt new attitudes towards our professional status, so it's not a bad idea to start making the change now.


Janie said...

Thank you for the post about this Joy, I had problems with childcare at the last minute as it was school holidays and could not attend. I also wonder where the midwives are when attending some of the education on offer. It is unfortunately not uncommon that the numbers hover at 30. The Capers breastfeeding day had close to 250 I think but I am unsure how many of these were midwives, the NACE conference which was held in September sold out but it attracted nationwide participants. My gut feeling is that there is a general apathy and lack of pursuit of change. Maybe most are just in survival mode and treading the water. Whatever the cause it is cause for concern and reflected in the standard of care provided, which is deteriorating alarmingly at a rapid rate.

brenda said...

This is an interesting post with many relevant points.

I wasn't there..............

Certainly not because I am complacent or lack interest & motivation in the Professional Development field.

I agree with your points Joy, especially the query "are there too many Professional events" ?
This one was the day prior to the debut screening of 'Orgasmic Birth' which was co-hosted by Rhea Dempsey & Sarah Buckley.
Those of us who live an hour from the city & are on call baulk at making the trip 2 days in a row (esp knowing we may be called out to a birth 10mins after we get home at midnight).
So, distance is a real issue for some of us.

I also don't recall seeing it promoted but that's possibly because my email mountain is so huge that I can't keep up with it.

I love professional development, I really enjoy learning (as you well know) BUT someplace in the plethora of study days & workshops, on-call & shift-work I also need to have a LIFE!

Midwifery can be all consuming if you are truly passionate about it......and I am.
However, is can overtake your personal life to the extent that your family suffer (mine have) & we need to protect this.
We are teaching women that families come first so I feel we need to lead by example.
This revelation has come late in life to me & I am listening carefully to it's call.

I agree with your statements Joy, we need to be prepared for future professional development and prepare for the formal practice review.
I think the answer will be to carefully prioritise our learning opportunities so that we aren't overwhelmed or overcommitted.
This takes some planning but I think it's the only way we'll keep up to date & still have a family life as well. This is part of what keeps us well rounded, wholistic & grounded individuals.

I can really hear your disappointment & frustration at the lack of attendees at these workshops.
I just think that for those of us not within 30mins of Melbourne it's a real juggle fitting everything in & we need to be mindful of all our other commitments.

Back to the 'Prioritising' Wall Planner !