Midwife – Field of study catalogue MU
“‘A midwife should have a lady’s hands, a hawk’s eyes and a lion’s heart’ Midwifery – professionalism and respect”
This three-year study programme (both full-time and combined or part-time mode) aims to train competent professionals with a university degree to work as midwives in the healthcare system. Graduates must be able to use their theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to work autonomously as midwives within the full scope of practice and responsibilities set for their profession.
The programme focuses on unsupervised care for women with normal pregnancy during their pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum period as well as care for healthy newborns. In the case of health conditions, graduates are able to help caring for the mother and newborn and diagnose and resolve problems over the whole life of the women and her family.
Educational goals of this programme include effective communication with the client and her family, teamwork in the case of health conditions, adherence to ethical principles, and preventive procedures used at the individual levels of prevention, with special emphasis on primary prevention and education of the woman and her family at all stages of her life, especially as regards reproductive health.
Practical training within the scope set by legislation for the regulated profession of midwifery is an important part of the studies. The study programme is accredited in accordance with relevant legislation and the Definition of the Midwife developed by the ICM (International Confederation of Midwives) to allow graduates to obtain registration and licence for autonomous, independent, and fully responsible practice of the profession within the healthcare systems in the EU countries.
Graduates of the study programme are competent healthcare professionals in accordance with the ICM documents (ICM Essential Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice, Definition of the Midwife, and ICM International Code of Ethics for Midwives) as well as national and other international regulations for midwifery practice.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- Demonstrate a professional and mature approach to individuals, families, and communities, contributing to the professionalization of midwifery and raising the social prestige and status of midwives.
- Make autonomous and qualified decisions in caring for health and in the prevention of diseases and complications.
- Provide care to women during pregnancy, labour, delivery, and postpartum, to newborns, and to women with gynaecological conditions; and to detect risks and irregularities early and help resolve them.
- Provide care to women during pregnancy, and postpartum period, to newborns, and to women with gynaecological conditions in hospitals as well as in other environments (such as home care and community care).
- Actively use evidence-based practice and critical thinking methods and apply the results in practice.
- Apply procedures appropriate for the individual levels of prevention with special emphasis on primary prevention and education of the woman and her family at all stages of her life, especially as regards reproductive health.
- Assess client needs and provide care through the midwifery care process in culturally appropriate environment.
- Run parenthood preparation classes and provide advice in the area of female reproductive health and child care within the scope of midwifery practice.
- Make, justify, and bear full responsibility for own professional decisions.
- Reflect on his/her actions, find fulfilment in his/her profession, and continue to learn and improve oneself.
The primary career for the graduates of this programme is the practice of midwifery as an autonomous profession (without professional supervision and indication) in hospitals, primary care, and community settings. Graduates can work as independent midwives in prenatal care and education centres, hospitals, and institutions providing help to women and their children. As employees, graduates can offer to their employers an ability to detect and, within the scope of their practice, resolve needs and health issues of women and their families using critical thinking and scientific evidence. They are familiar with the basic principles of scientific work and are able to carry out research and propose new alternative ways to deal with existing healthcare challenges based on their findings; research institutes and centres are, therefore, another possible place of employment for them. Graduates only have a limited opportunity to obtain a Master’s degree in the field of midwifery (MU does not currently offer this option). They can work as midwives anywhere in the EU.
The standard length of this Bachelor's study programme is six semesters. Among other things, student have to meet university requirements for minimum language and physical skills, which are included in the total number of ECTS credits. Prior to taking their final state exam, students have to obtain at least 180 credits in required and selective courses. elective courses, which serve to broaden students’ knowledge and skills, are also available. Students are required to follow the course catalogue for their programme during the course of their studies. Students must provide evidence that they gained experience with specific interventions as stipulated by a regulation of the Ministry of Health and submit their Bachelor’s thesis before taking their final state examination. The course catalogues for individual matriculation years can be found on the faculty website.
Practical training is part of the curriculum from second to sixth semester (1,400 hours total) and usually takes place in four-week blocks. It is further extended by courses in clinical practice, which take place at accredited facilities and bring the total number of hours of practical training to 1,800. The number of credits awarded for practical training is indicated in the course catalogue. Individual practical training takes place during the holidays, totalling 2 x 240 hours in a full-time study mode and 2 x 300 hours in a combined (part-time) study mode. Students need to provide evidence of having completed the requirements for practical courses: records of required number of hours of training, records of provided interventions in the logbooks, and evaluation by their practical training mentor/lecturer. Review of knowledge and skills in the practical courses takes place in the third (normal physiological states in midwifery) and sixth (complications in midwifery) semesters. Practical training allows students to gradually obtain the experience needed to become autonomous providers of care for women and their children during normal pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum and for competent cooperation with other team members in the case of any irregularities and pathologies.
The final state exam is oral. Students must prove that they are knowledgeable about the medical and social aspects of healthcare and that they have broad general knowledge and understand the links between the individual fields that provide care to women and newborns.
The state exam includes a theoretical exam in the following courses:
1. Midwifery: students randomly draw exam questions in the areas of midwifery theory, obstetrics, gynaecology, and neonatology and are given an aggregate grade.
2. Behavioural sciences: students draw one social sciences question – psychology, ethics, law, sociology, economics, and management.
As a part of the final state examination, students defend their Bachelor’s theses. By writing a Bachelor’s thesis, students demonstrates that they are familiar with the given topic and with the fundamental principles of scientific work under supervision. Both knowledge and presentation skills are evaluated during the thesis defence.
The Faculty of Medicine at MU does not currently offer a Master’s degree programme in midwifery.