A midwife is recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with each woman to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period.
Care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures.
The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and the community. This work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to each woman’s health, sexual or reproductive health and child care.
A midwife may practise in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics or health units.
Teaching and learning
A high standard of academic teaching combined with hands on experience is key to Midwifery studies at UTS.
Midwifery students have access to state of the art facilities and laboratories at UTS. Teaching spaces are flexible and collaborative and UTS provides specific places to relax or study.
Beyond the university, the faculty is affiliated with some of the best maternity units in Sydney and NSW. Our dynamic and highly qualified teaching staff collaborate with skilled midwives and doctors in the maternity units to ensure theory is blended with practice experience.
We also have access to a wide range of casual and guest academics to bring the courses to life. Our professors also teach actively in the program.
At UTS we understand that flexible access to facilities is vital for students who want to get the most out of their degree. Midwifery students can practice clinical skills outside of class hours thanks to the Virtual Tutor project and in class with clinical simulation.
First year students are introduced into the maternity units through a specific Widening Participation program which helps students get the most out of their early clinical experiences by integrating practical learning from the first semester.
Complementing the high level of teaching and learning provided, UTS is also the top ranked university in NSW for Nursing and Midwifery research in the Federal Government's Excellence in Research Australia ratings. Our research in Midwifery is recognised both internationally and nationally and we have been highly successful in receiving competitive funding, including Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council grants.
Midwives in the Faculty of Health at UTS undertake high quality research using qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. Current areas of research include, ‘The Place of Birth’ vaginal birth after caesarean section, birth unit design, simulation and breastfeeding. Research results are widely disseminated through conference presentations and peer reviewed journals. We are continuously developing our reputation for carrying out high quality research and research training, as well as contributing research evidence to inform future teaching practice.
The midwives at UTS are also members of the highly successful Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health. This Centre aims to improve the health of Australian families through leadership in midwifery, child and family health research, education, practice development and consultancy. Our focus is on childbearing women and their families with children up to five years of age. Students at UTS can be part of the research conducted through the Centre, attending workshops and seminars and there are excellent opportunities for future Honours, Masters and Doctoral degrees with the Centre.
Academic staff are actively involved in the profession and many continue to work clinically as midwives. All the midwifery academics play an active role as members of the Australian College of Midwives, including holding places on the Scientific Review and Advisory Committee and the Professional Development Committee. They regularly speak at midwifery conferences both in Australia and overseas.
UTS is committed to ensuring that midwifery academics provide excellent role models for students. A recent example is one of our lecturers, Allison Cummins, gaining midwifery eligibility status. Allison is now allocated a Medicare provider number, allowing her to care for women within her own midwifery practice, at the woman’s home, in hospital or at a birth centre.