Does a standalone mental health unit/subject in midwifery curriculum better prepare RM’s for clinical practice?
Van Vorst, S & Crepinsek, M 2015, 'Does a standalone mental health unit/subject in midwifery curriculum better prepare RM’s for clinical practice?', International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 24, suppl. 1, pp. 10-11.
Published abstract available from:
Midwives don’t always have conﬁdence in their knowledge around management of women and their families with mental health presentations. Gaps in mental health education for midwives continue alongside the fragmented services provided to women and their families, in particular, the accessibility of around the clock services. Due to the changing culture of midwifery practice and models of care, the need for advanced mental health education within Midwifery curricula is needed. While there have been some increases in the provision of mental health education streamed throughout Bachelor Midwifery programs, there are few midwifery curricula with a designated mental health and wellbeing unit. This paper explores student viewpoints on the value of a designated mental health and wellbeing unit. In line with the changes the midwifery profession is currently undergoing, Southern Cross University Bachelor of Midwifery has incorporated a Mental Health and Wellbeing unit into the suite of units taught within the curriculum for the undergraduate Bachelor of Midwifery program. This unit is taught in the ﬁnal year of the curriculum, integrating the care of the women and the midwives role in the framework of caring for women and their families with mental health issues. Students enrolled in this program have been asked to complete a short questionnaire designed to evaluate the beneﬁts of this unit in the context of applying their acquired skills and knowledge learnt in this unit to their clinical practice. This concept allows for ﬁnal year students to reﬂect of their practice as midwives in the context of current mental health care practice in Australian for women and their families around childbearing. The ﬁndings will be presented in this paper.