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What are the Different Nurse Midwife Jobs?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 June 2018
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The nurse midwife is a trained professional who can help deliver babies and provide before and aftercare to women who are pregnant. Typically, those in this field are now called certified nurse midwives, since many of them have taken training as recommended by the state and pursued examinations that lead to certification. Training may vary, and nurse midwives may have nursing degrees and masters level work in midwifery, or have been through a program that is on par with this. Some midwives are not nurses, and some aren’t certified, but this is changing in order to encourage more women to use midwife services, which is working. In fact certification has led to far many more nurse midwife jobs, in a variety of locations, since public comfort with midwifery has been greatly enhanced by partial standardization of training.

Generally, nurse midwife jobs will involve taking care of women who are pregnant, though some midwives may be qualified to treat other gynecological conditions, perform gynecological exams, give counsel on birth control or discuss fertility issues. Yet most jobs will involve direct patient care of the pregnant woman. Alternately some women teach in the nurse midwife field.

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Nurse midwife jobs can be located in a number of places. Many gynecology and obstetrical practices now include these specialists. These midwives see patients in an office, and could be on call to deliver babies. When employed by doctors, midwives usually are allowed to manage uncomplicated births, but protocol may be in place as to when to involve doctors if a cesarean section is needed or other complications arise.

Some hospitals also employ nurse midwives. Again, the midwives might work unassisted in some cases when deliveries are not medically complicated. At the very least, nurse midwife jobs at hospitals could involve initial assessment of any delivering mothers to help determine if more complex care is needed.

Other nurse midwife jobs can exist at birthing centers, which may be fully staffed by midwives and not include doctors on staff. Clearly birthing centers do have protocol in place should a woman need greater care than the center can provide. Some nurse midwife jobs include staffing a clinic and then overseeing home births, and in these instances too, midwives are trained to look for problems that might require more medical intervention.

With most nurse midwife jobs focusing on care of pregnant women and delivery of babies, hours can be challenging. Labor does not occur on schedule and midwifery frowns on labor induction, unless it is medically necessary. Those in this field can potentially expect great variations in schedule, especially if part of their job is delivering babies.

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