Indigenous Health Scholarship
LaTrobe University, VIC
Bachelor of Midwifery
Scholarship Awarded 2018
How will I contribute to improving Indigenous health as a qualified medical practitioner or health worker?
In 2015, I completed my bachelor of nursing degree from Monash University with the intention of working for a year or two as a registered nurse, growing my knowledge base, attempting all the while to make a difference in the lives that I had the honour of touching. In 2017, my daughter had a late term miscarriage. This event reignited my passion for midwifery and highlighted the need for more Aboriginal midwives.
As an Aboriginal midwife, I aim to contribute to my community by enabling Aboriginal women to get the most appropriate prenatal and antenatal care possible. This may be achieved by ensuring women are made aware of the services available to them in a culturally appropriate manner. Ensuring that women and their families are cared for in a culturally safe, patient centered environment. I would also aid the women and families I care for from advice on pregnancy, rest and nutrition, but ensuring that they are appropriately linked in with additional services that they may need. I also would like to continue my studies further with a master of midwifery and becoming a clinical midwifery practitioner. This will allow me to educate future midwives to care for Aboriginal women and thie families through the life continuum.
there are three major maternity services in Victoria who are offering culturally appropriate care to Aboriginal women to ensure that the high risk women are cared for appropriately. I have been fortunate enough to gain my clinical component of my course at one of these hospitals and as such would very much like to work closely with the midwives who run this during and after my studies.
Current Progressive Report
Beginning my journey from Registered Nurse to Midwife has been exhilarating, frightening, frustrating and has left me with the feeling of coming home. Let me explain, starting with Frustrating; Going from being an RN who can make life changing clinical decisions, giving medication as simple as paracetamol and as complex as managing infusions of adrenaline or fentanyl to not being able to give medication at all unless under direct supervision and asking another practitioner if it is appropriate has left me feeling redundant to say the least. Frightening; Caring for a woman in labour, no matter the complexity of the pregnancy is a great responsibility and while I am not ultimately responsible for the care of the woman I am caring for, I feel a great sense of responsibility and accountability for the care that I provide. Moving onto the delivery of the baby… While I have delivered 11 babies now, I continue to learn and grow as a novice midwife. My confidence is always growing, but in the back of my mind there is always the element of ‘what if this happens, how will I manage it?’. Exhilarating; Have I mentioned that I am assisting a woman to bring life into this world! Last week, I performed my very first 100% me – making all the decisions [under direct supervision of course) unassisted delivery of a beautiful baby boy. Adding to the pressure, I was being supervised by one of my clinical midwife educators who gave me fabulous feedback once I have completed the delivery and postnatal duties that midwifes are bound to perform.
In semester 2, as an extension to my midwifery studies, I am participating in a Midwifery Group Practice – Nangnak Baban Murrup (predominantly caring for Aboriginal women), this is also known as case load midwifery. This will see me working in an on-call model for the remainder of the year. As such, I will participate in antenatal clinics, delivery of the women’s babies and postnatal care in a hospital and domiciliary model of care. This program is something which I have had to apply for and be accepted into.
Now onto university… This semester has been academically challenging with the amount of academic writing involved, limited time for study due to 3 days per week clinical placement and attempting to work occasionally. Despite this, I can say that I have learned a great deal and have applied that knowledge in my role on placement and have achieved an acceptable academic outcome (despite my goal being above 95% in all subjects).
Personally, this year has been a roller-coaster with my beginning my postgraduate studies, moving to a new house, managing all my personal medical and personal appointments, preparing for my grandson’s arrival in September and trying to get enough rest so that I am physically and mentally able to continue to be a good wife, mother, Nanna, friend, student, RN and midwife! I can not begin to express the thanks for the support that Rotary has given me this year in supporting my studies. Without the scholarship that you have awarded me, I would need to work more which would put an increased strain on me physically and emotionally. Since beginning my career as a midwife, I have achieved a feeling of happiness and fulfillment I had yet to achieve in a professional capacity. The downside for me personally this semester is putting on 4kg! This I must remedy.