Bachelor of Midwifery Q&A

Deborah: [00:00:02] Now, I have some wonderful colleagues and students with me this morning, and we’re now going to introduce ourselves. First of all, I’d like to introduce you all to Professor Kathleen Baird, who is our professor of midwifery and head of discipline. Good morning, Kathleen.

Kathleen: [00:00:19] Good morning, Deborah, and thank you for the introduction. And good morning to everyone who’s joined us this morning. It’s lovely to have this opportunity to spend some time with you and talk about our program that we’re all very proud of. And my name is Dr. Kathleen Baird, and I’m very fortunate to be a Professor of Midwifery and the discipline lead for midwifery. And I’ve practiced as a midwife now for nearly 25 years. And I’ve practiced in both the U.K. and in Australia and in all different models of maternity care. I moved to Australia from the UK in 2012 and I’m absolutely delighted to live in this beautiful country. And my research interests are models of maternity care and social inequalities with a special interest in and domestic and family violence. So once again, welcome and thank you for joining.

Deborah: [00:01:18] Thank you very much, Kathleen. And next, I’d like to introduce you all to Dr Christine Catling, who is our director of midwifery studies. Good morning, Christine.

Christine: [00:01:27] Hi, everybody. Yes, I’m Christine. Lovely that you’re joining us. Thank you so much for giving up your Saturday morning. I’m really looking forward to answering your questions in a little while. Yeah. Like Kathleen, I come from the UK. I’ve been here for over twenty to twenty six years, something like that. Been a midwife for about the same length of time. My research interests have been pretty varied over the years, but they focus on home birth and midwifery, workplace culture at the moment. And yes, well I’m very research focused at the moment, but I’m really looking forward to seeing you, meeting you and and helping you get onto a course and then really knowing getting you to know exactly what midwifery is all about.

Christine: [00:02:15] Over to you.

Deborah: [00:02:16] Thank you, Christine. And next, we have a lecturer in midwifery, Loretta Musgrave. Good morning, Loretta.

Loretta: [00:02:23] Oh, hi, Deb. How are you? Thanks, everyone, for joining us today. I’m so excited to have all you potential midwives out there. I’m a midwife and registered nurse, and I have been practicing for 20 years as a midwife.

Loretta: [00:02:41] I have an interest in research looking at mobile phone apps as a behaviour change intervention in pregnancy. And I’m lucky enough at UTS to also be really engaged in the clinical practice labs and facilitating second year students with the clinical practice.

Loretta: [00:03:04] Thanks, Deb.

Deborah: [00:03:06] Thank you. Now we have two of our wonderful Bachelor of Midwifery students. We have Jacqueline from second year and Lauren from third year. And we’d love to hear from you as well. So over to you, Jac.

Jacqueline: [00:03:23] Good morning, everybody, and welcome to the session today. As Deb mentioned, I’m in the second year of my degree. I am a mature age student and I come to midwifery following a pretty major career change.

Jacqueline: [00:03:37] After spending 13 years working at a big four accounting firm, I made the switch and gone back to uni and absolutely loving it. I’m also a mum of two young boys, which keep me busy, too. But happy to answer your questions as the session goes on today.

Deborah: [00:03:55] Thanks so much and Lauren, welcome, Lauren will soon be a midwife, she’s in her final semester. Good morning, Lauren.

Lauren: [00:04:05] Hi Deb, welcome everyone. Yes, I’m a third year student graduating in two months. Super keen for it, I came into midwifery as a school leaver, so I came straight from school, didn’t quite get the ATAR, but with some bonus points and some educational access schemes, I made my way here. So happy to answer any questions anyone has about that.

Deborah: [00:04:27] Thank you, Lauren. Thank you, everybody. And finally, as I said, I’m Dr. Deborah Fox on the course coordinator of the Bachelor of Midwifery and a very proud Bachelor of Midwifery graduate. I was a member of the second cohort of the Bachelor of Midwifery in Australia, graduating in 2006. So I’m very passionate about the value of a Bachelor of Midwifery education. And I also, like Jac, came to midwifery after a career change. I used to be a professional musician and I’ve practiced as a midwife and studied and researched in Australia and Singapore and the United Kingdom. And I’m a very active and passionate member of the Australian College of Midwives, which is our peak professional body for midwifery in Australia. And my research focuses on the midwifery and obstetric care of women with pregnancy complications.

Deborah: [00:05:24] And it looks at the ways in which we harness technology to optimise normal births and positive pregnancy and birth and early parenting experiences for those women.

Deborah: [00:05:39] So moving on, today’s session, of course, is your opportunity to ask questions about studying at UTS, and we love open days because we love the variety of questions that we get and we love meeting our potential students for next year. So we’ll ask you to please type your questions into the Q&A box in your resume. Control panel and members of the panel will respond as your questions come through.

Deborah: [00:06:08] We’ll also have time to answer questions at the end of the session.

Deborah: [00:06:12] So if we do have a lot of questions, you might receive an answer in a text reply from one of the panelists or from one of our Faculty of Health marketing team who are here to help us moderate the questions.

Deborah: [00:06:27] So being an online session, please bear with us if there are any technical issues. But we’re hoping it will all go smoothly. If you find you’re not able to access the webinar at any point, we suggest that you log out and try and log back in again because that often resolves any issues that you may be having.

Deborah: [00:06:50] But just a quick overview, just to supplement the recording, which describes the Bachelor of Midwifery, just some key points if you haven’t seen the recorded session, there is a lot of information in that. And we do recommend that perhaps you drop out of this webinar just for 15 minutes, have a look at that PowerPoint and then and film and come back with your questions. I think that would be helpful for you.

Just some key stats, though. Our 2020 selection rank for this year’s first year was 98.40. It’s a three year full time course and we only take students in autumn. So in the February intake every March, unfortunately, we don’t have deferrals for our Bachelor of Midwifery and we take approximately 60 students each year. We also offer a double degree, the Bachelor of midwifery and The Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation and this year’s selection rank for that was 98.65. And that’s a four year full time course. It’s also an autumn intake without any deferrals offered. And there’s an additional focus on top of doing the Bachelor of Midwifery. You study in a transdisciplinary fashion with students from other courses and other faculties focusing on innovative, creative and entrepreneurial outcomes. And that’s a very interesting course for those who are interested in expanding their horizons.

And of course, a reminder, we’re very proud to be rated a first in Australia and seventh in the world for midwifery and nursing, according to the World University rankings.

Deborah: [00:08:50] So students who successfully complete the Bachelor of Midwifery program are eligible to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or AHPRA and can therefore practise as a midwife and a midwife is a health professional who, in partnership with a woman, provides individualised specialist care, evidence based information and support during pregnancy, childbirth, post-natal and the early parenting period.

Deborah: [00:09:19] And midwives can work in the community, in birth centres, in hospitals, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, because babies come at any time of the day and or any time of the year. And midwives also, of course, work in research, education and policy areas.

Deborah: [00:09:44] So we’ve covered some of the common questions that we get every year to get us started, and I’d like to hand over to Loretta to tell us a little bit about how hospital placements work and what are the uncle commitments in the schools.

Deborah: [00:10:00] Thanks, Loretta.

Loretta: [00:10:01] Thanks, Deb, so usually we pair you up at a hospital or a local health district, and that’s where you have all your clinical placements through, you have to over the three years do about one thousand and seventy two hours of practice. So there’s lots of hands on experience to compliment all of the theoretical and knowledge that you get at the university. So there’s plenty of time to translate that learning across into practice. So usually you are allocated one day a week to attend your clinical placement or you may do it in a block formation. And we have a clinical ladder where we have clinical placements throughout the year, depending on what year that you’re in. You could be rostered in the morning or you could be rostered on an afternoon shift and you will be supported by the midwives, not just those who work at the hospital, but we also have clinical facilitators who will be working with you throughout the three years. At times you will be on call because part of the clinical work that we do is a continuity of care model. So you will need to follow 10 women throughout the three years and all their pregnancies. So that’s 10 women and they will be spaced over the three years. And at times you may need to come in to follow through their care. And we do ask that you see them antenatally, during birth and postnatally so that could be at any time of the day. So you need to be quite flexible in in in your life, I guess, and have lots of support to do that if you have a family.

Loretta: [00:11:58] And so. Oh, what else can I tell you, it’s a really exciting clinical program that we have, but it is a lot of sort of juggling, I guess if you have family and other commitments. So we do ask that you think about that when you are applying for the course, what that might actually look like. Thanks, Deb.

Deborah: [00:12:27] Thank you Loretta and another question, we get a lot and I’m going to ask Jac and Lauren to help us with this one is how do you manage work, study and personal life studying full time?

Deborah: [00:12:39] Because we only offer full time places in a Bachelor of Midwifery and cannot continue outside work commitments while studying Midwifery. Jac would you like to start that? And then we’ll go to Lauren.

Jacqueline: [00:12:52] Yeah, absolutely. Look, I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It requires a super, super high level of organization and time management, as Loretta mentioned, if I mean for anybody, really, you need to have a really strong support system around you to be able to help you manage your other life commitments, whether it be kids, whether it be you care for a parent, but you have a pet that requires special care or anything like that.

And I guess you need to be flexible in your approach to, I guess, your life outside of midwifery, because it it does take up your time. And whether you think it’s going to or not, it becomes quite all consuming. I feel like my whole life is midwifery, and I’m not saying that that’s a bad thing at all because you become extremely passionate about everything, midwifery. And then to go on with the continuity of care, you actually become quite invested in the women and all the support people. And do you actually really want to be there for them? Because pregnancy can start out extremely uncomplicated and become complicated in the blink of an eye. And actually just having that extra person there that’s constant in their pregnancy actually really, really helps the women. Whether you think you’ve made a really big impact or not, all of the feedback that I have received is that, you know, that thank you that they give you. It’s like you have just made the biggest impact in their life.

So I guess my key points would be time management, keep a diary, keep all your appointments and everything written down in one place. If you have a family, have a shared calendar so everybody knows where everybody is at any point in the day, because like Deb said, birth happens at any time of the day and you need to be on call. So you are on call for that birth. And if you can make it, you want to be there. Sorry. That’s me done, right?

Lauren: [00:15:04] Yeah tacking on from Jac, definitely Google Calendar becomes your best friend throughout the course and you do need to have a bit of preparation going into it. But I totally agree. You fall in love with all things midwifery and studying honestly is a little bit easier. As I’m a school leaver, I haven’t had much experience kind of in the corporate world or anything like that. But certainly the change from high school and HSC study where I really trudged myself through maths versus the medication calculations, even as silly as that sounds, it’s a little bit more interesting. You get a little bit more engaged, so it’s a little bit easier to float everything. My social life, I don’t think has taken too much of a hit.

Ironically, I think a lot of my friends are also doing full time uni. So we all are quite understanding of the commitments and where we all are. And it’s all kind of sorted in that regards. I’ve also made a lot of friends in the course and no one understands better that “sorry, I have to cancel dinner.” I have a follow through on this birthing than someone who had a follow through birthing the night before. So it’s support networks of people who totally understand what’s going on in terms of work and part time work. I’m definitely not the example because I’m a bit of an over committer and have a number of jobs which I’ve balanced throughout uni. I think my hack to doing that is finding a few good jobs, really good supportive bosses who totally understand if you have to duck out quickly for an appointment or something like that and come back, definitely the tip.

Lauren: [00:16:39] Otherwise, vacation work and casual work is definitely the go to, being a student ambassador, which is what Jac and I are doing is a really good high paid short hour kind of part time job that gets you where you need to be. UTS also offers careers in or jobs in notetaking and tutoring, which is short hours, high paid. It’s really easy to manage all that stuff when you just have a little bit of work. Then you can go and do an appointment, you can do a little bit of assignment, and then you go for your afternoon placement shift. So it sounds hectic, but it’s certainly manageable, certainly rewarding. I think what Jack was talking about, the investment that you have with your continuity of care women is spot on you. You get so excited for their births and it doesn’t seem like it. And you kind of go, oh, like I’ve really been looking forward to so and so’s dinner. But then you get the call that your woman’s in labour and it’s just nothing else matters. You just want to be there for her and her for a baby. And it’s a special thing. And you don’t get well, I haven’t got sick of it yet.

Jacqueline: [00:17:45] Could I just add onto the back of what Lauren said, I guess, particularly with the continuity of care aspect of the degree. There are ways of managing it really well, one of the best tips that I got in my first year was to try and recruit and I don’t really like the word recruit, but try and get women whose due dates are all around the same time so that the on call aspect doesn’t necessarily extend for the whole year. So you might find that, you know, you’ve got a placement and say in May and you pick up a few women that are due in October. So that and, you know, for a period of four or five weeks October say these women are going to be birthing. And therefore, you know, once you’re outside of those periods, you’ve got appointments to attend, but not necessarily on call the whole time.

Deborah: [00:18:38] Great tip. Thanks, Jac and thank you both for all those very valuable pieces of advice. And whenever I listen to our students talking about their course, talking about their passion for the women they work with, it makes me extremely proud to be working with such a high standard of students.

Deborah: [00:19:01] It’s wonderful. Thank you.

Deborah: [00:19:03] All right. Now, Christine, I wonder if you would like to talk a little bit about assessment in the matter of midwifery.

Christine: [00:19:10] Oh, so, yes, there are assessments and but there are many and varied and really quite interesting. And you learn so much by this as, you know, doing the assessments. Obviously, you do four subjects per session. So there’s a fair bit of that going on. So we try to focus on providing assessments that you do that are very authentic. So they’re very related to midwifery practice and we integrate that theory with the practice, with each assessment we assign you. So it be a combination of things like you that your average essay that you’d be used to doing case studies. And obviously you’ve got to have a better clinical placement before you can do case studies, because it’s really great to be able to sort of relate it to the actual cases that you’ve been involved with, women that you’ve been involved with.

Christine: [00:19:56] We do get you to do a lot of reflection about your practice, and that’s a fantastic way to learn as well, because, you know, practice is many and varied and you can see a lot of different practices out there as well. And to reflect on that and to see what could have been done better, what you did really well on that sort of thing. So reflection is something that students often take a while to learn how to do correctly. But reflection is brilliant.

Christine: [00:20:23] We sometimes get you to do PowerPoint presentations in groups and obviously there’s a couple of exams as well. Well probably a bit more than a couple of exams, but we’re probably going to cut down on the actual exams in the future. But there’s so there’s all sorts of assessments. But the main thing about assessments is that we really try to keep them authentic and really relevant to what you are doing in practice. Anything to add Loretta or Deb?

Deborah: [00:20:53] No, that’s a great summary, Christine, thank you. We have a specific assessment tool called the AMSAT that’s used in the hospitals and that so you’re assessed in the hospital by the educators and then all your academic work is assessed by us at the university. Thanks, Christine.

Deborah: [00:21:18] So another frequently asked question, what is the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence in Innovation and how might it be beneficial to do the combined degree? So I think if you’re interested in the double degree, it’s important for you to find out a little bit more about transdisciplinary work and to ask some questions in the faculty of transdisciplinary innovation so that you can get a better picture of the kind of work. But I will describe how the course works and a little bit about the content. So you will do your Bachelor of Midwifery.

Deborah: [00:22:00] Pretty much across three years with the other students and about in the middle of the year, in winter and in the summer period, you will do extra intensive block sessions to do the additional subjects that are involved in the creative intelligence work. And you will join with students from all other faculties to create truly transdisciplinary at work together. And it’s very creative, entrepreneurial type of work.

Deborah: [00:22:40] So someone explained it recently in a in a very easy to understand way, and I’ll try and relate that to you. Now, if you can think of a multidisciplinary is a bit like a dinner party where people from all different ethnicities bring a special dish from their culture and everyone comes together and is able to try each other’s dishes. Transdisciplinary work is more like a group of people coming together and developing recipes and cooking together. And it focuses on the idea of developing T shaped learners where you can imagine a T shape where learners are looking across the board in a in a transdisciplinary fashion, but also digging deep into certain areas with transdisciplinary colleagues. So it’s a very, very interesting approach to learning and deals with a lot of wicked problems which you might want to Google wicked problems. And it will give you a good idea of the kinds of things that are tackled.

Deborah: [00:23:54] All right, well, I’m going to pass over to our professor, Kathleen Baird, to talk a little bit about what students can do to increase their chances of getting into the Bachelor of midwifery if they’re not successful this time.

Kathleen: [00:24:11] Thank you, Deb. And I noticed we’ve had a few questions in the chat box about this very thing. So I’m going to talk a little bit. But I’m also going to bring in the experience of yourself, Deb, because you quite, as you said, one route and Lauren talked about what she did as well. And I know that Jac has also come into midwifery in a different route, too. So this will be a well, all hands on deck answer question, but mainly, yes, we absolutely understand that our entry requirements are quite high to get into midwifery. So for some people, they might be concerned that they might not have those requirements. So there are some other options available. And one of the things we do maybe suggest is consider applying for a course with a lower entry requirement and doing that course for a year and then reapplying again for midwifery. And the results from that first year of your undergraduate course, if they’re at a required level, can be taken into account in your application. So that will give you a higher, higher rank. So and so that’s one way. And some students have done nursing or health science for a year and then reapplied. You could also consider. I know you’re probably really keen to start midwifery straight away, but you could consider doing another diploma or an advanced diploma at Tafe or a private college. And again, that will increase your opportunities and your chance of being selected when you reapply. The other one is the stat test. It’s called it’s multiple choice, and it’s actually administered by the Australian Council for Education Research. And I know that this is a route that Deb herself undertook. You have to have 20 years of age by the 1st of March 2021, and your results remain valid for three years. So that’s some of the options. But I think it might be helpful to actually talk and hear maybe about some of the different routes. So if I can maybe pass to Deb first and then to Jackie and then to Lauren, if that’s okay. Thanks, Deb.

Deborah: [00:26:39] Yes, so I’ve got a sort of an unusual trajectory in that I didn’t finish school, I was so busy playing the violin professionally that I didn’t finish school. I then as a as a non-school, even in my 20s, did part of a Bachelor of Arts, but didn’t finish it because I was too busy playing the violin. So to cut a long story short and I now have a PhD, so I wasn’t disadvantaged in the long run. But I got into my better midwifery by doing a stat test and getting getting a result, very high result in that.

Deborah: [00:27:14] So it’s something I would recommend for those of you who may not have academic records to produce, most of our non-school leavers come to us with other degrees. But the stat test is something you might consider if you don’t have that.

Kathleen: [00:27:37] Thanks to can I maybe now just go to Jac, Jackie, if you want to maybe just talk about your journey, too.

Jacqueline: [00:27:45] Yeah, absolutely. So I have taken quite a long walk into midwifery. I left school and went to Tafe and started doing a hospitality management traineeship.

Jacqueline: [00:27:59] I worked in the hospitality industry for a couple of years and then decided that wasn’t probably the right fit and had received a high enough UAI to attend uni to study a Bachelor of Commerce.

Jacqueline: [00:28:12] And I majored in accounting. I did that part time over five years, graduated from that and worked professionally for 13 years after that, before then deciding that I actually my passion was in midwifery.

Jacqueline: [00:28:27] And so I applied through UAC. But I think I didn’t do the stat test. I think I was eligible because I had prior I had the prior degree. And then I also had postgraduate study through my accounting career as well, which is how I received my offer.

Kathleen: [00:28:46] Thanks, Jacqui.

Kathleen: [00:28:47] And then, Lauren, you want to just expand a little bit, you talked about your route as well.

Lauren: [00:28:53] Absolutely. So I didn’t get I think it was a ninety-seven, atar back in twenty seventeen. But for school leavers, UTS offers this thing called the year 12 bonus scheme, which you can read about on our Admission Pathways website. It adds automatically five points or up to five points to your Atar, depending on if you’re taking relevant subjects and do well in them. I think that might be biology and maths and maybe in English or something like that, which I know everyone has to do. So they’ve already got one foot in the door. The other thing that kind of supplemented my atar was the educational access scheme, which is run through UAC and identifies any kind of hardships. And I know that if there are any 12 year or elevens covid, has been a pretty significant hardship if they’re doing anything about that. But yeah, identifies hardships that anyone kind of faces in year 12 and acknowledges that that can impact your performance in the HSC year 12 year. I think I probably applied for that exemption around this time when I was in year 12. So it’s not too long a process and it’s not too late. If you think that you’ve gone through something a bit heavy and would like to be recognized for that, definitely look it up. It’s through UAC. And there are other things that considerable kind of enhance your Twelve’s application process as the school recommendation scheme and a few others, all which you can fight on the emission pathways.

Lauren: [00:30:21] And it’s definitely worthwhile just for a little bit of peace of mind because we don’t offer early entry. But certainly you can structure the way that you go about things to feel a little bit more confident in your application. We spoke a little bit about starting nursing first, and I won’t talk in my experience, but certainly one of my lovely friends, Jose, who’s a third year now, she started her journey into midwifery with one year in nursing, didn’t mind it, but certainly knew that midwifery is where she wanted to end up. So finished that year did really, really well in that year and then transferred over into the bachelor’s midwifery for that first year. She, I think, had two subjects that she didn’t have to take because the course credits were close enough together that it would be somewhat repetitive. So I think the nursing eight is seventy eight or something like that. And it adds a year study, but it’s invaluable study that helps you give the fundamental nursing skills what you’ll need anyway through midwifery. So definitely a good, valid pathway if you think that it’s a bit of a bit of a reach.

Kathleen: [00:31:24] Lovely thank you so much, Lauren. And I’d recommend for anybody to, you know, keep in touch with our admissions people at UTS and explore the different opportunities or routes that you could maybe consider.

Kathleen: [00:31:39] Thanks, Deb.

Deborah: [00:31:43] Thank you Kathleen. So following on from what Lauren was talking about, we often are asked, can I study both midwifery and nursing? And another question we are often asked often by students mothers, I might say, is, don’t you have to be a nurse first to become a midwife? And the answer to that is no.

Deborah: [00:32:01] For nearly 20 years in Australia now, the gold standard of midwifery education has been the better of midwifery and in other countries such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom, it’s been that way for a lot longer, that the reason for that is that midwifery and nursing are two very distinct careers, and nursing is primarily about caring for people who are ill or injured and working with them to aid in the recovery or aid them in managing a chronic condition. And midwifery is very much rooted in healthy women and babies. And we have a physiological approach, a biological approach to our care in that we want to optimise and prioritise women to use their own bodies, their own capacities to grow their babies, to to give birth and to feed their babies and to become parents. Of course, we learn about complications and we we are very skilled at referring women to medical care when they need it.

Deborah: [00:33:16] The other important thing to know about the difference between midwifery and nursing, a lot of students come to midwifery because they love babies and they really want to work with babies.

Deborah: [00:33:26] It’s very important for you to know as part of your decision making processes that midwifery is about women and it’s about supporting women, having babies and the babies belong to the women. So if you really want to cuddle babies, I suggest you think about early childhood education or nursing, where you might be able to work in pediatrics or in a neonatal nursery area looking after unwell babies or children and midwifery is is very much about women. So UTS, you can study one degree at a time, you can do midwifery first and then go back and do nursing with some credit and that would take you about five years. Or you can study nursing first and complete your nursing in three years, work as a nurse for a year, and then enroll in our graduate diploma in midwifery, which is currently a 14 month course, and that on completion of that, you are then a registered nurse and a registered midwife.

Deborah: [00:34:44] Most of our graduate diploma students go on to work primarily as midwives, so it’s a five year journey, whichever way you decide to go, if you want both qualifications.

Deborah: [00:35:05] So will now be answering your questions that you’ve submitted using the Q&A function at the bottom of your screen, it’s not too late. Please submit some more questions if you wish. And or you may have received an answer already in a text from one of our panelists or marketing team. I’m just going into the QnA.

Deborah: [00:35:35] All right, so Sarah has asked, what sets you two years apart, other than the number one being number one in Australia and seventh in the world and from other universities for midwifery? So I’m very passionate about UTS. I moved from another state to come and study my PhD here, at UTS, because the access we have to the world’s best and midwifery professors and academics is really unrivalled in Australia and in many parts of the world. So in addition to our wonderful team here, led by Professor Kathleen Baird, we also have some of the world’s best midwifery professors as our adjunct professors. So Professor Nicky Leap, Professor Pat Brodie, Distinguished Professor Caroline Homer and Professor Jane Sandall are just a few of the, if you like, household names of midwifery from around the world who are connected with with us as adjunct professor. So we’re very proud of that. And I really feel coming here from interstate, I felt like I came from a very localized midwifery community to a global midwifery community. And at UTS, we really are placed in the world stage, if you like, of midwifery.

Christine: [00:37:14] And you want me to add to that a little bit. Yes, I think there that I think that is really what sets us apart. Our connections with really distinguished professors around the world, in the US, in the UK and definitely around Australia. So we have that international connection and we get those in to do guest lectures with you. So we very research focused as well. So we have got cutting edge knowledge about the latest and the greatest ways to practice all sorts of things in relation to that. We’re a small team of seven and I think that’s a bonus, actually. I think students get very individualized care and guidance throughout the course. We have cutting edge labs, simulation labs, which are pretty amazing. Oh, they were shown on that video. So hopefully you’ve all seen that video where Jac you led the students through on that video so you can see them there. But to be in those simulation labs is quite something else. And the things that go on there are amazing and also those clinical skills that you learn and you will all have a clinical subject each session when you have a designated time in those labs that you will be taught by clinical midwives who are incredibly skilled midwives, who are still working in that clinical space. So you will have fantastic lecturers who will guide you through how to do the midwifery skills that you will need to learn. And there’s a ton of support to use as well. If you you’re probably all aware of where it is on the campus.

Christine: [00:39:00] The main campus is really in central Sydney and there’s so many support services within UITs itself to help you in any way you need. There’s a whole medical service there, but there is a section called Help. So if you do need help to structure essays or to anything to do with your assignments, that help is right there. This helps with help with maths. We have to get you to obviously be able to do calculations and all that sort of thing. And if maths is not your strong subject, there is maths help. You can get hands on maths help with in that faculty. So the support is really second to none. If you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, there is a whole jump on our House of Learning on Level six and building one at UTS, and there’s an amazing support team there for those students as well. I’ve probably missed a ton of things, but those are the things that come off the top of my head in relation to what makes UTS really strong for midwifery. We were the we were instrumental, although our colleagues preceding us who still have links to us were the ones who actually changed the act. The government acts to make a thing. It was not it was not possible. So we were the first in New South Wales, I believe, to have that Baynard course, which is quite something. So we do have that history.

Lauren: [00:40:25] And I think that if no one minds, I might touch on the student experience a little bit. Just to answer your question, Sarah, very briefly, anchorman’s. But. In terms of clinical hours, it’s offers quite a few more, I think, out into if you’re Sydney based. The other alternative is Western Sydney or Newcastle Uni. Has the natural midwifery itself is the most clinical face to face hours. So we have a thousand and seventy two, which we do across. The three is theory based. Learning is fantastic. And like I said, you know, it’s exciting and happy for me to learn. But you really consolidate your skills in that clinical space environment and you end up a lot on the other end, a little more prepared if you’ve had more exposure in the hospital settings. So that’s certainly something that drove my decision towards UTS back when I was deciding when I was finishing year 12.

Jacqueline: [00:41:19] Can I just add something because, well, I would just say just from the perspective of the academic staff, like I felt completely supported throughout the 18 months that I’ve been studying this small cohort, which is I guess the small cohort is any uni.

Jacqueline: [00:41:38] But the lecturers know who you are. They know your name, they know your backgrounds, where you’re coming from, that they’re an email away. And particularly at the moment in this time of covid, like last semester, couldn’t fault the support that we were receiving from from the team. And it was just unbelievable. And I mean, even outside of COVID, that’s still that’s still the case.

Deborah: [00:42:06] Thank you, Kathleen, did you?

Kathleen: [00:42:10] Yes thank you Deb. I think what’s really strong about our team and Christine was right, we’re a small team, but we’re absolutely passionate and committed to maternity service and reserve maternity service reform. And that’s why we’re all engaged in research and engaged in different aspects of service that influences policy and development. And I think that ship comes through and shines through all of the team that which then shines on to the students. So we’re absolutely driven to make sure that women and their babies and their families are well cared for during pregnancy and childbirth and invest in students who are the future of midwifery and who are going to be this change agents as well. So I think we just all love what we do. And and that just is very clear.

Deborah: [00:43:11] Thanks. Thank you, everyone, for your contributions to that and Grace is asked of the students graduating with Bachelor of Midwifery find they are equally competitive for graduate employment as graduates who have completed nursing and then postgraduate midwifery?

Deborah: [00:43:26] Well, all I can say is absolutely, we have 100 per cent employment rate every year in our better midwifery. Most of our students are employed in New South Wales. Others go into state and some have also gone on to work overseas. So employment success is never been any issue for us.

Deborah: [00:43:53] Sam is asking, I’ve heard something about there being a certain number of births you have to attend before you qualify. And I just wondered what truth there was in this.

Deborah: [00:44:01] Yes, the number of births that you need to attend is determined by ANMAC, which is the national body that determines education standards, minimum education standards for midwifery in Australia. And I might pass to Kathleen because she has quite a lot of expertise in that area.

Kathleen: [00:44:23] Thank you. Well, yes, the reason, as Lauren identified earlier, that we have a huge component of clinical hours in our program is because being a midwife is a really responsible position. And so we want to make sure you’re confident and safe to practice as a midwife and part of ANMAC, which is the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council Accreditation Council, part of their role is making sure as well that within the midwifery programs in a university, there is components that help you to become that confident and competent midwife upon graduation. So that includes things like being able to have evidence that you’ve conducted 30 normal vaginal births, you have attended caesarean sections. You’ve also undertaken other clinical requirements. That’s in increased your confidence and ability in clinical skills. So now they’re really, really important and they’re as important as the academic requirements of your course. So before we can, at the end of the three years as a university, as a and certainly as a midwifery team, we have to notify and ANMAC and then AHPRA, that you are safe to to qualify as a midwife. So those requirements absolutely are essential in your program and you will acquire those clinical requirements throughout the whole program, throughout the three years. And that’s why you’ll turn continuity of care that we’ve talked about also sit within that requirement. So those those 30 births. Yes, are absolutely correct. And there are other clinical requirements that you’ll have to do. But we never expect you to undertake those requirements until you’ve had the academic input and the support that you need in the clinical environment to undertake those skills.

Deborah: [00:46:36] Thank you, Kathleen. And now Grace is asked, is there opportunity for students to be involved in research projects over the three undergraduate years? So the first answer I would give you is that the whole course is very research based in terms of right from week one, we will be talking to you about using evidence to inform your practice and using research evidence to inform your academic work. And we start right from the get go on that in your second session in the spring session of first year, we have a subject called Translating Research into midwifery practice, which is exactly as it describes learning how to translate research evidence into your practice and also how to support women to make informed decisions about their care. So the whole course is underpinned by that students who are particularly interested in research absolutely able to access opportunities. So, for example, last summer I had one of the students who just finished first year come in and work with me to prepare for a clinical trial that we were running during the year. So students who put their hand up to help with those sorts of things, we can always find opportunities. And we currently have a number of our wonderful third year students preparing to apply for honours, which is a research program. And you can go from your Bachelor of Midwifery to honors to a Ph.D., if that’s what you’re interested in.

Deborah: [00:48:13] Kim is asking and I’m already starting a degree and I was wondering what GPA do I need to have a chance of getting into this course? That’s a difficult question to answer, Kim, because we don’t handle the admissions it that’s all handled by UAC.

Deborah: [00:48:27] And what I would say is that if you’re studying a degree and getting good marks, then it’s definitely worth applying. It’s competitive. We take 15 percent of the students who apply to join the Bachelor of midwifery. It’s highly competitive, but it’s just a matter of applying to UAC and seeing what the competition is each year. And of course, there are the alternative pathways that we’ve talked about for becoming a midwife.

Deborah: [00:48:59] And Sam is asking, what is the day to day schedule for a midwife?

Deborah: [00:49:04] Well, that’s a big question.

Deborah: [00:49:08] Perhaps, Loretta, would you like to tell us about the day to day schedule for a midwife working clinically?

Loretta: [00:49:16] Absolutely. So the beauty of midwifery is that you can work in so many different areas. And I’m a prime example of that. I’ve had four jobs in the last three years, which are all involved midwifery. But I’ll just talk about clinical. So generally speaking, as a student, you will be placed in an area. The general area is sort of antenatal care intrapartum, which is like delivery water, a birth centre, and then there’s postnatal. So depending on which area you will be in depends on the day that you’re going to have. And so if you’re in an antenatal clinic environment, there will be a list of women that you will see throughout the day and you’ll be paired with a midwife to do that. And so a fantastic experience. I remember the first time I was in the antenatal clinic, I got to meet all these amazing women and I was completely blown away by listening to the baby’s heartbeat for the first time. So, so many skills in that area, from listening to babies, to palpating tummies, to learning how to take blood pressure and talking to women about what it’s going to be like to be a parent. If you’re in the delivery ward, completely different, so you’ll be allocated to a woman who is birthing and you’ll be working with the midwife to learn all of the skills. So a typical day is not so typical in delivery ward. You never know what’s going to be thrown at you. And it’s, again, super exciting to be involved in such an amazing experience where women transition to being mums and postnatal again and more of a ward like experience, but different to deliver ward you’re usually allocated several women to look after with another midwife. And you learn the skills of helping women to breast feed care for their babies and doing post-natal checks and making sure that they’re going to be okay to go home and look after their babies. So depending on the area, it’s all very much a different day. But I can guarantee you that it will be a very exciting day.

Deborah: [00:51:39] Thank you, Loretta and Christine, would you like to talk a little bit about the day in the life of the home birth midwife?

Christine: [00:51:46] Yeah, I was thinking as you were answering that, Loretta, I mean, either way of 90 percent of midwives do work in the hospital system, so the public system of the private system.

Christine: [00:51:57] So what you’ve described is exactly right, depending on what area of maternity unit you work in, depends on what your day looks like. Home birth midwives. So, I mean, that next question from Ebony is what other employment opportunities are there other than public hospitals? Yes, midwives can work in a community. They can work in midwifery group practices which are usually tied to hospitals. But there are especially in Queensland, there are more and more privately practising little groups of midwives who work separately. And obviously in New Zealand, that is the case pretty normally. That’s how they work and that’s how the system works over there. So there’s different models of care that you can work in as a midwife. But in relation to home birth practice, the midwives that do work privately in that capacity, most of them, not all of them would offer a home birth.

Christine: [00:52:47] There’s issues about insurance, but I won’t go into those now. But the day in the life of the home birth midwife is again is quite different to those who work in the hospital. They’re often driving around women’s homes if they’re doing antenatal appointments and post-natal appointments, because all of those things occur in the women’s homes, which is just incredibly wonderful.

Christine: [00:53:06] And it’s also the epitome of a continuity of care model. So that midwife will care for the women all through pregnancy, through labour and birth and for six weeks postnatal. So, yes, if she’s not driving around and doing all the antenatal and postnatal, she’s possibly out of birth. And again, she has to be on call twenty four hours a day. And so that’s that’s hard in itself, but incredibly rewarding as well. They need a woman inside out. They’re there for the whole of the labour and the birth should anything deviate from normal. Obviously, those women transferred into hospital with that midwife by their side.

Who remains by their side, hopefully throughout the whole of her labour and birth, even if it does end up being in the hospital. So a private midwife has very is incredibly autonomous in her work, abides by the policies and guidelines that are put together by the Australian College of Midwives. We have a fantastic document called the Consultation and Referral Guidelines. So there’s lots of other policies of the home birth midwives have to fit within as well in this country. But there aren’t a huge amount of them working sadly in this country. But they’re around and they’re like gold. So that is another option. We’ve had a number of B. Mids from UTS who’ve actually gone down that route and have been working privately for a while.

Christine: [00:54:29] So it’s one of the options that you can work in as a graduate. But the other things just to expand on the question from Ebony, the other ways you can work as a midwife, you can say public hospital, private hospital. Sometimes I’ve known midwives to attach themselves to private obstetricians in their rooms so they can do lots of antenatal care of the women who are being cared for privately by private obstetrician, do an awful lot of education with those women antenatal group classes so you can go into education for women, you can go into academia like we did and do an honours degree, maybe work clinically as well, and then sort of work towards doing a PhD and then working within a university and doing lecturing. You can and soon UTS is going to have it open for B Mids, do a graduate student in child and family health and start working in clinics in child family health and have that midwifery as well, which is a fantastic dual qualification to have and work in that field. Oh, lots of other things. You can work regionally. And one of the other questions that I did answer is that, you know, we need midwives out in those rural areas. In your third year. We do give you an option to go into a rural area for a couple of weeks.

Christine: [00:55:51] And so you can work really as a midwife as well. Some areas do require that you have nursing as well as midwifery, and that’s OK. You can work overseas as well. Some countries will require you to do extra little bits of on top of your training to to get them you to align with what they have with their midwifery degree. For example, in the UK, it just changes from year to year. But in the UK it used to be that you needed to do a little bit more community experience before you were allowed to be registered in the UK to work as a midwife. We’ve had students actually in their summer space, in their summer space. I think that we you go over to Tanzania and do some wonderful voluntary work in low to middle income countries, which is. Wonderful. And we had a UTS alumni who an alumni of the year was it last year, joins me, who has been working in Ethiopia with the Hamlin Fistula Hospital, all sorts of things. So, you know, nursing and midwifery. But I mean, we have a midwifery, really. You will have a job and your options will be really wide. And it’s it’s something you’ll never regret doing.

Deborah: [00:57:03] Now that you’ve covered that beautifully, thank you. Just got a couple of minutes left and we’ve got some great questions from a couple of anonymous attendees. What is the most rewarding part of the job? Well, I could talk to you for an hour about the things that I love about midwifery. I love watching students progress from first year when there are lots and lots of questions to third year, where there’s strong young feminist, wonderful midwives. That’s very exciting. I would have to say, though, the thing that all midwives absolutely love and never get sick of is the birth of a baby.

Deborah: [00:57:40] You talk to any midwife and they will talk about the joy of seeing a baby born and seeing a woman turn into a mother. It’s absolutely wonderful and such a privilege to witness. And another question is, what is the most confronting part of the job? And yes, look, there are many confronting parts of being a midwife. Of course, when babies die, that is devastating for everybody involved. And in some countries, often women also die. Fortunately, in Australia, that’s very, very rare. We also because we work in partnership with women, it’s quite a strong relationship. We develop with the women. And so women often disclose to us lots of things about their lives that are really challenging them. And that can be confronting as well as many of the women we work with are suffering all kinds of social, emotional and family challenges in their lives. And but I think, you know, it’s very character building as very strengthening. And for me, coming from being a musician, which is a very narrow sort of field, if you like, coming to midwifery, I just learned so much about so many different people from so many different cultures and so many different backgrounds. It completely opened my eyes. And that’s what I see happening for our students as well over the three years that they’re with us. So, yes, can highly recommend midwifery as a career.

Deborah: [00:59:30] I think we might be out of time, so thank you all so much. We’re reaching the end now of our session. So I’m just trying to move them forward. Yeah, you can stay online until one o’clock.

We’ve got one to one live chats with our students and also with admissions to talk about access schemes and pathways if you wish to. Thank you very much for joining us. And I do hope that we see you at UTS next year.

Deborah: [01:00:12] Bye for now.