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What is a Midwife Student?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 May 2018
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A midwife student or midwifery student is someone who is studying midwifery, and is not yet fully qualified to be an independent midwife. Midwife students can opt to study at a college of midwifery, or through placement with a midwife, birthing center, or similar facility. The qualifications a midwife student will graduate with depend on where studies take place, how long the student studies, and where the student intends to practice. The regulation of midwifery varies widely internationally, and it is advisable to get familiar with the regulations before pursuing training to confirm that the training will allow the student to pursue his or her personal career goals.

To be accepted as a midwife student, someone may need be a high school graduate, and to demonstrate competency on entrance exams as will as an interest in midwifery. Some schools and trainers only accept students who are already trained in nursing. The student generally needs to relocate to the site of the school, facility, or practice where training will take place.

The training received by a student midwife includes study and classroom work, with the goal of teaching anatomy, physiology, and other skills along with skills which may be useful such as business management training. Midwife students often participate in childbirthing classes and other activities related to the practice of midwifery so that they can be better educated and get a chance to interact with patients and the community.

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As the skills of a student midwife develop, the student will move from observing exams to participating in them to eventually conducting them, working with patients under the supervision of an experienced and certified midwife. The student midwife also attends births, gradually gaining more independence until reaching full qualification. To practice independently, a midwife student usually needs to pass certification exams and to fulfill requirements set forth by licensing agencies and the government.

At institutions which take trainees, patients are often encouraged to work with student midwives to give them a chance to learn. However, patients can request that they work specifically with a fully qualified midwife. For independently practicing midwives who accept students, patients will be made aware that the student may ask to participate in exams, births, and other events, and that there is a chance that a midwife student in advanced training may respond to a birth or emergency before the practicing midwife if the schedule becomes busy, as for instance when the midwife is already at a birth.

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