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By an allied health world contributing writer
Published: February, 3 2010
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What is a Certified Professional Midwife?Individuals interested in knowing how to become a certified midwife will find it worth noting that this is a common means by which to pursue direct-entry into this important profession. Those who have been certified as such carry the prestigious credential CPM or Certified Professional Midwife. Certification for this credential is granted through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). The CPM credential signifies the practitioner has received the highest quality training and is in a unique position to offer both in-patient and outpatient care to mothers and their babies. This is indeed a unique distinction as midwives are most commonly associated with providing out-of-hospital care exclusively.
How is a Licensed Midwife different from a CPM?About half of the 50 United States have state bodies that oversee the practice of midwifery. In these states a CPM may be referred to within the medical community and among clients as a Licensed Midwife. This is very much worth noting for those aspiring midwives who intend to practice within these states, as state-granted licensure is a legal requirement. The title Licensed Midwife is used most frequently in these instances since it immediately denotes that all educational requirements have been met, as well as national certification requirements as may be required by certain states.
What midwifery courses are commonly included in midwife programs?The coursework associated with most midwife programs would be inclusive of all the basic didactic classes one would expect from a career in medicine. However, the midwife courses of greatest interest to those individuals weighing this career option would be specific to prenatal, neonatal, and maternal care.
Among these midwife-specific courses would be psychology classes specific to sexual, psychosocial, and behavioral development. Aspiring midwives can also expect courses specific to growth and development, as well as fetal anatomy and physiology. Genetics, nutrition, and epidemiology courses will help midwives to identify certain genetic predispositions, the ideal diet for an expecting mother, and how to detect and identify potential diseases a newborn may suffer from.
Those who are considering pursuing midwife jobs should also expect classes in pharmacokinetics designed to teach them how the unborn infant and expecting mother may be affected by prescription drug use, including absorption by the infant and potential toxicity levels. Classes in pathophysiology will introduce students of midwifery programs to the allopathic process of identifying diseases based on a symptom oriented review model.
Reviewing the syllabus outlining the curriculum of more commonly offered midwife programs will also reveal classes specific to the philosophy and working theories behind midwifery. Among these is one that is titled Theories and Concepts of Advanced Primary Care Nursing. Students can also expect classes that prepare them for leadership roles and the requirement for decisiveness inherent within these positions. Among these vital courses in decision making and leadership is a class titled Decision-Making in Health Assessment.
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