Where there is no midwife: the Imminent Birth Education Program

Where there is no midwife: the Imminent Birth Education Program Conference Paper

15th National Rural Health Conference: Better together!

  • Author(s): Kelly, Jenny, Connell, Jane
  • Secondary Author(s): Coleman, Leanne
  • Published: 2019

Abstract: Introduction: While the majority of births in Australia occur in hospitals with maternity services, it is inevitable that some women will present in established labour to health facilities without midwives or other appropriately qualified staff. These unexpected presentations pose challenges for the woman, her family and the health workforce. In 2016, 69 women gave birth in 32 Queensland Health facilities without maternity services; approximately 90% of these births occurred in rural and remote settings. Methods: The development, implementation and evaluation of the Imminent Birth Education Program for non-midwives practising in rural and remote non-birthing facilities in Queensland employed a participatory action approach. A state-wide steering group was established and consulted on all stages of the project. The project consisted of three distinct phases: Development of an online, evidence based component of the education program; Pilot testing the online component and development and pilot testing of the face-to-face workshop and facilitator’s guide; Promotion, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Imminent Birth Education program throughout Queensland. Results: The Imminent Birth Education Program for non-midwives practising in rural and remote non-birthing facilities in Queensland was developed, piloted and evaluated. The education package comprises an online component, 3.6-hour Imminent Birth workshop and a facilitator guide for a midwife to facilitate the course. By July 2018, 639 health professionals completed the online course, 54 health professionals were trained to facilitate the face-to-face workshop and 114 non-midwives completed an onsite workshop. The Imminent Birth Education Program was accessed by health professionals in all 16 Queensland Hospital and Health Services. Conclusion: The education program resulted in improved knowledge of the non-midwifery workforce to assist and support women who present when birth is imminent. It has decreased levels of anxiety about providing clinical care to women who present at non-birthing facilities when birth is imminent and improved ability to provide women who present when birth is imminent with safe, evidence-based clinical care.

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Suggested Citation
Kelly, Jenny, Connell, Jane, 2019, Where there is no midwife: the Imminent Birth Education Program, Conference Paper, viewed 27 October 2020, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=15318.

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