Clinical Training - Midwifery
The Department of Midwifery utilizes a highly-effective model of clinical training that combines hands-on training that overlaps with classroom theory. We replicate the age-old apprenticeship model where students work side-by-side with experienced preceptors (who are licensed midwives) and other women’s healthcare professionals.
Students typically start off slowly in their clinical sites, mainly observing while continuing to learn midwifery theory and skills in their courses. Experience has shown us that student learning is often accelerated and deepened when theory can be observed or applied simultaneously in the clinical setting. Clinical practicum rotations begin in quarter 3 of the program and those apprenticeships continue throughout the second and third years of the program -- clinical time with preceptors increases as classroom time decreases, preparing student midwives to effectively integrate all of their knowledge and skills in preparation for entry-level practice.
Basic clinical skills, such as performing blood draws, IVs, physical/ pelvic exams, Pap tests, neonatal resuscitation, etc., are all learned by students in the classroom first. Before entering a clinical site, students must be trained in adult CPR, neonatal resuscitation, have a TB test, be immune to or vaccinated against rubella, and pass a criminal background check. To protect themselves and the women and babies they serve, students are strongly encouraged to be immunized against Hepatitis B, Pertussis and Influenza as well.
Where Students Get Clinical Experience
Students may obtain their clinical experience in gynecology/family planning clinics, prenatal/postpartum clinics, homebirth settings, birth centers, and hospitals in North America. Students may work with licensed midwives, registered midwives, certified professional midwives, certified nurse-midwives, nurse practitioners, naturopathic doctors, physician assistants or physicians during these rotations.
The Department of Midwifery places all students in qualified clinical training sites. Students must live within a one-hour commute of an approved clinical training site and must be prepared to relocate temporarily if the community where they reside does not have adequate clinical training opportunities. This may requires flexibility and the support of the student's family, as it may mean separation and economic challenges.
Preceptors are also known as Community Faculty in this program and must meet the criteria established by the Department of Midwifery in order to supervise students. Community Faculty must be practicing legally and attending births as a licensed, certified or registered midwife for at least three years and have sufficient obstetrical/gynecological volume to adequately instruct, supervise, and evaluate the student's clinical training. The Department of Midwifery screens and approves all potential preceptors and Community Faculty. Students work closely with the Practicum Coordinator in the process of being assigned to their clinical rotations.
Practicum - Midwifery
Practicum begins during a student's third quarter. Students start off very slowly, mainly observing for the first few months. What students are able to do in their preceptorships mirrors what they are learning in the classroom.
Basic clinical skills, such as performing blood draws, IVs, physical/ vaginal exams, pap smears, neonatal resuscitation, etc., are all learned by students in the classroom first. Students will be required to obtain training in adult CPR, and have a TB test, be rubella immune and pass a criminal background check.
Clinical Requirements for Graduation - Midwifery
Graduates must meet the following minimum clinical requirements:
Participation in 60 births, including at least:
- 30 births in which the student functions in role of primary midwife under supervision
- 20 births in which the student is actively involved in the client's care
- 10 births in which the student is observing
- 30 births in an out of hospital setting
- 25 births in the US or the student's country of origin
Participation in 1,500 hours (the equivalent of 50 credits) of clinical work, including at least:
- 400 hours of intrapartum experience
- 800 hours of clinic time in prenatal, postpartum and gynecological care
Participation in 720 client contacts, including at least:
- 300 prenatal exams
- 100 postpartum visits
- 50 newborn exams
- 50 follow-up newborn exams
- 50 gynecological exams
Clinical training for at least one year at a minimum of two clinical sites in the US or the student's home country. All clinical training is with preceptors who are practicing legally in their region and will incorporate:
- at least one preceptorship in which the clinical faculty member is a midwife
- one site for at least six months and 15 births (involved and supervised primary) in an out of hospital setting
- one site for at least three months and 10 births
- satisfactory completion of all levels of clinical evaluation
Demonstration of continuity of care by providing these continuous care services to at least 10 women:
- 4 prenatal visits
- 3 postpartum visits
- in 3 of the 10 cases the student must function as primary midwife under supervision