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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Christchurch 2nd October07
    Posts
    91

    Default Midwifery

    I am a midwife working in Christchurch womens hospital. Been there for nearly 3 months now, noticed there are very few threads on midwifery. It is quite a different maternity system here as I already knew before coming but still is taking a bit of getting used to. I dont actually feel like a midwife anymore, more of an obstetric nurse! I dont feel I am being used to my full potential. But I am not here primarily for the job, but for lifestyle change and to get away from the buckling NHS. If there are any midwives looking to come out here and want a perspective on things feel free to contact! It would be a bit of a shock to come here not fully understanding what midwifery is here! Also pay/hours/holiday is not as good and it is not cheap to live here on New Zealand wages! Although we are ok. Be warned the midwifery council take a lot of money from you and then have the cheek to expect you to do extra study for more money and in your own time!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Thanks for the invitation to contact you as I was a bit surprised when I spoke with someone infused in the midwifery community there about the practise in NZ as compared to the US where I am currently. No women's healthcare oversight beyond the few weeks post-partum, no Well-Woman annual exams, no birth control guidance, no prescription rights (perhaps some within the context of pregnancy only), no lactation consulting beyond the first few weeks, etc. She felt that midwives in the US were asked to do too much and that to do so takes away from the specialty of midwifery whereas I felt it could only enhance it (staying in contact with women between babies by providing basic care).

    You might have a very different feel to your midwifery practise if you were to not be working in the hospital and work in an independent practise (your own or join a free-standing midwifery practise). Less of a cog under another's supervision and more of an intelligent entity capable of working as a strong woman on her own.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by migratory birds View Post
    ...midwifery...practise in NZ as compared to the US where I am currently. No women's healthcare oversight beyond the few weeks post-partum, no Well-Woman annual exams, no birth control guidance, no prescription rights (perhaps some within the context of pregnancy only), no lactation consulting beyond the first few weeks, etc...midwives in the US were asked to do too much...
    Hi,

    Just wanted to clarify as my post may have been unclear. US trained (nurse) midwives do all of the above and I was sorry to hear that NZ practising midwives have a much more limited scope of practise (and are not providing much, if any, of this care).

    I hear you about the drawbacks of being on-call when practising independently. Tough...esp if you have kids at home still. But if you share a free-standing practise with enough other midwives you might have a decent call-schedule.

    Question for 'thirtysomethings': What are your observations about call schedules for hospital-based midwives in your hospital and others you're aware of? Are newcomers stuck with terminal overnight call until another newbie comes on? Are midwives rotating less deisreable (i.e. overnight) with more desireable shifts (i.e. daytime)? How often does that rotation take place? Are you working nights for a month? Then days for a month? Then evenings? Or is it an every day or every other day rotation?

    What is a "rostered" schedule? It's not a term we use in the US. When I look at midwifery postings I see this term.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Very interested to hear all perspectives on this subject, as I was thinking of training as a midwife when I get a break between pregnancies! We're in the middle of moving to NZ at the mo, so haven't had much time to look into the sector yet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    490

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thirtysomethings View Post
    Be warned the midwifery council take a lot of money from you and then have the cheek to expect you to do extra study for more money and in your own time!
    Can you speak more on this?

    The council collects the money for...?? Registration/licensure fees?

    What kinds of expectations for extra study are there? Is it the equivalent to completing a required number of, what we call in the US, continuing education (CE) credits, to maintain registration/licensure?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Christchurch 2nd October07
    Posts
    91

    Default

    Hi migratory birds, interesting to hear what it is like from US perspective. New Zealand midwives are responsible for women up to six weeks postpartum, the Uk four. Care is then handed over to Plunket nurses NZ, health visitors UK. They give advice about childhood immunisations, extra breast feeding advice and contraception together with GP input. I feel I need the experience in an NZ hospital before going out as an independent midwife, although I have to say I do not relish the idea of being oncall, I enjoy and protect a work life balance, and having done oncall before know how it can rule your life!
    I had to pay $1000 (NZ)for registration, $450 for half year practising certificate, and now have to complete a set number of courses to be able to practise fully in New Zealand ie;can not work as independent until achieved this looks like it may cost around $600. Shall be lobbying my employer for assistance as had none so far even though they are crying out for midwives and actively recruiting in UK. Also wrote 6000 words justifying every aspect of my care giving even though I had proven registration and employement in uK, that is to register here in NZ. Yes there is a system of credits to re register and a bizarre practice of reflection to a group of midwives and women (consumers) who you have never met!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Christchurch 2nd October07
    Posts
    91

    Default

    Hi Brightonbean, if at all possible it would be better to train as a midwife in the UK than in New Zealand. It is my belief that New Zealand midwifery training focuses far too much on the normal and does not equip midwives for the abnormal. UK training encompasses training in the normal and abnormal, I do not believe that you can practice safely without knowing how to deal with anything "abnormal" and having that experience. Newly qualified midwives here are allowed to go straight out into independant practice without any experience, this means they can be working alone.Yet I have 8 years experience, in all areas including homebirth but I am not allowed to practice independently until I have completed the midwifery councils courses for over seas midwives. My limited time in NZ has given me examples of midwives trained here who just dont know how to deal with anything out of the normal range. Having said that their are many excellent midwives here!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Christchurch 2nd October07
    Posts
    91

    Default

    Hi Migratory birds, I do not do on call as a purely hospital based midwife, which is great for me! Our duties or days working are called the "roster". In my hospital we self-roster ie put down what we want in pencil and all being well get what we want with minimal changes by the manager, those working full time get preference. Nights are included in the rota and we do not get a choice about those. In theory I could request all morning shifts or all afternoon shifts, but I prefer a mix!
    I work two night shifts only every month, but have a quick turn around after ie back next day for morning shift. Hope that gives you an idea.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Wellington, moved from Nelson
    Posts
    135

    Default Just what does the average midwife earn?

    I am curious, what does the average midwife earn in the hospital system or in private practice in your opinion? While the money is certainly not the primary motivation for practicing, it is a factor when you have to pay the rent etc. NZ is not a cheap place to live any longer, and wages don't seem to match the cost of living. Anybody know if there are any programs for Physician Assistants as of yet? It would seem like there is a great need in NZ for midwives and PAs with the medical care shortage.

    Thanks,

    Wendy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    490

    Default

    MIdwifery salaries can be dependent on patient load - the greater the load, the higher the pay (at least this is the case in private practise). Independent practise midwives earning more than hospital-based midwives. $60-90K is the salary range I've been told.

    No PAs in NZ to my knowledge. Nurse-practitioners are JUST getting their feet in the doors as primary-care providers (last I read there were something like 17 NPs in the entire country).

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