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Date posted: 7 April 2014
Five midwives based in Cairns have recently received the opportunity to further their studies, thanks to the Australian Government's Department of Health and the Australian College of Nursing.
The scholarship is worth $18,750 and was applied for by all midwives at Apunipima, though only five applicants were successful. The course is a Postgraduate Certificate in Screening, Dianostics, Pharmacology and Prescribing for Midwives.
Upon successful completion of the post graduate study, midwives will become eligible to obtain Medicare provider numbers, prescribe limited and appropriate medicine, organise referrals and order obstetric ultrasounds for their clients.
'That means we will be able to prescribe medicine for women and also to be able to order things like ultrasounds and blood tests. In the past, if you’re a midwife and you need any of those things done, you have to refer the women to their GP,' Team Leader and Nurse Educator of Maternal and Child Health, Johanna Neville explains.
'In a sense, that means if you’re working in the Cape and there’s not a doctor on board or visiting on the day that we’re working – we can make those orders for the women and that means the women don’t have to come back and see a doctor the next day.'
The other advantage that the midwives will have is ordering their own ultrasounds right away, rather than making the expectant mothers wait to see a doctor.
Apunipima represents 17 Cape York communities, providing culturally appropriate, community controlled comprehensive primary health care and advocacy services to 11 communities and advocacy services only to the six Northern Peninsula Area communities.
Source: Deadly Vibe