Pilot program helps midwives return to clinical practice

Midwife visiting newborn

A new pilot re-entry program is helping qualified midwives in South Australia who have not worked clinically for a while refresh their skills and knowledge so they can re-join the workforce

The RESET-M program, established by Flinders University, Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN), and Your Nursing Agency (YNA), is aiming to counter declining midwifery registration numbers over the past five years,

Five midwives are undertaking a short course in the clinical labs and simulation suite at the Flinders University Sturt campus to learn new practices. They will complete two paid supernumerary clinical shifts at the Lyell McEwin Hospital after the workshops, supported by university and NAHLN clinical staff.

The midwives will then undertake eight shifts over three months in selective maternity wards at Lyell McEwin Hospital to complete their retraining.

The program reinforces key midwifery skills and covers clinical updates, protocol changes, obstetric emergencies, and the latest midwifery research to inform best practice.

RESET-M pilot lead investigator, Dr Megan Cooper, from Flinders University, said the program aimed to support midwives with the drive to return to clinical midwifery practice to regain confidence in their knowledge and skill-base. Re-engagement of skilled clinicians will reduce attrition and increase workforce numbers, she said.

“Currently, there is no intervention in South Australia that supports midwives to return to the clinical environment when they leave the workforce temporarily, for example, if they have a family or follow another career path in education.” Dr Cooper said.

“The RESET-M program is specifically designed to enable participants to regain midwifery knowledge and skills to enhance their confidence in returning to clinical midwifery practice. If successful, there is potential for the program to be rolled out in other local health networks, and modified for other disciplines in the health service.”

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