How Will The Midwifery Bachelor’s Degree Affect Your Training As A Midwife?
Over the past few decades, the scope of responsibilities in midwifery has expanded, the amount of independent unsupervised work has increased and the theoretical and practical knowledge required has grown exponentially. A profession that was once deemed vocational is now becoming more academic with Midwifery Bachelor degrees, so how will these changes affect your training as a midwife?
Many countries have modified the education midwives receive from a vocational course to a university degree. In fact, the European Union has made it mandatory that all member countries transition their midwife training into a Bachelor’s degree by January 2020. So far, all countries have either completed or started the transition, with the exception of Germany.
Having similar higher education systems in all of the European Union promotes professional mobility and skill-sharing. It also promotes a higher equality in basic services across the member countries and equality among their professionals. Currently, Germany has one of the highest-regarded health systems in the European Union but German-trained midwifes can only access entry-level positions in other European countries even when they have years of experience on the job. The new standards in midwife training will change this.
What Effects Will A Midwifery Bachelor’s Degree Have on Training?
Access to a vocational qualification is mostly open to all who have completed mandatory education or an equivalent, which means midwifery is a viable option for those who did not complete university or technical college entrance qualifications. Having midwifery as a university degree could limit the number of students.
Another positive aspect of vocational training qualifications is that they tend to have more ‘in work’ hours than traditional university degrees. A challenge that all countries face when transitioning midwifery education from being a vocational course to a university degree is the reduced amount of contact-hours with patients and how to make the most of the remaining ones.
A good simulation program that uses high-quality and realistic models can replace many of the patient contact-hours and offer experiences that go beyond those that a university student would usually be exposed to. Learning to understand patient cues can take years, however a medical simulation model can help in developing those skills and help students when they transition into their work lives.
One particular area of concern when contact hours are limited are Cesarean sections. C-sections due to medical emergencies are much less common than vaginal deliveries and therefore harder to acquire experience with if patient hours are reduced.
Training For A Midwifery Bachelor’s Degree Will Offer New Opportunities
Having a Bachelor’s degree allows midwifes to advance in their careers easily and specialise in the aspects of the practice they are particularly interested in. Midwifery masters and doctorates are now an option that would bring midwifes to the same level as doctors. This could potentially also solve the decrease in new midwife students, a trend that has been alarming for years.
It is also a possibility for midwives to become university educators and transmit their knowledge and experience to future midwives. The training would improve and it would allow students to access medical resources that would not be available to them in a vocational-training setting. As well as the wealth of knowledge that comes from sharing experiences with health professionals and educators from other branches of medicine that only a university environment can provide.
The Future of Midwifery
Midwifery is one of the medical branches that has seen the most development in the past decades, and it would not be surprising if that development continued over the coming years.
Midwifery has gone from being an unskilled apprenticeship to being regarded as a fully developed professional career. With Bachelor’s and Masters in Midwifery, and Doctorates in development, the future promises exciting new developments for current and future midwives. Midwives with a Bachelor’s degree are also able to have more control over their professional lives: they can chose to work within a hospital environment, a midwife-only practice or even act as ‘freelancers’ who control their own time and professional practice.
Access to professional publications as authors is now a reality for midwives and the increased knowledge means that every day new and better simulation models can be developed to assist and improve training. Are you interest in seeing medical simulators and trainers that could equip an obstetric skills lab for midwifery bachelor degrees? Find out more at 3bscientific.com.