Healthcare & Medical

Midwife

Midwives provide advice, care and support for women and their babies during pregnancy, labour and the early weeks after birth.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Midwife do?

Midwives provide advice, care and support for women and their babies during pregnancy, labour and the early weeks after birth.

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Work activities

As a midwife, you would:

  • monitor and examine women during pregnancy
  • develop and assess individual care programs
  • detect any complications that may develop for a mother or her baby
  • make referrals to doctors and other medical specialists
  • arrange and provide parenting and health education
  • provide counselling and advice before and after screening and tests
  • supervise and assist mothers in labour and monitor the condition of the foetus
  • administer medication to women and their babies as required
  • liaise with other health and social care professionals and agencies to ensure continuity of care
  • meet continuing professional development requirements.
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Key skills and interests

To become a midwife, you would need:

  • excellent communication and people skills
  • patience, tolerance and tact
  • respect for the needs of patients from a variety of cultures
  • strong teamwork skills and the initiative to work alone
  • a calm manner and the ability to work under pressure.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

In a full-time, hospital based role, you would usually work a standard number of hours per week, which would include evening, weekend and night shifts. Many hospitals offer part-time or flexible hours.

if you are working as an independent midwife, attending home births, you would need to be very flexible to meet your client's needs.

Conditions

You could work in hospital maternity units, GP surgeries, health clinics or in people's homes. As an independent midwife, you would travel to your client's homes, so would need a current drivers' licence.

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How to become an Midwife?

Entry Level Education

To become a midwife you usually have to study midwifery at university, or undertake a postgraduate qualification in midwifery if you have completed a degree in registered nursing.

To get into degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, biology and chemistry are appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

Before undertaking clinical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate, immunisations and a Working with Children Check (NSW) or a Working with Vulnerable People Check (ACT).

It is a legal requirement for graduates to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia before practising as a midwife in any state or territory in Australia.

www.nursingmidwiferyboard.gov.au

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of registered and specialist nurses is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.

Growth will occur because of an overall general increase in the demand for healthcare services.

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