A historical account of the governance of midwifery education in Australia and the evolution of the Continuity of Care Experience

Olivia Tierney, Linda Sweet, Donald Houston, Lyn Ebert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Midwifery programs leading to registration as a midwife in Australia have undergone significant change over the last 20 years. During this time accreditation and governance around midwifery education has been reviewed and refined, moving from state to national jurisdiction. A major change has been the mandated inclusion of Continuity of Care Experiences as a clinical practice-based learning component. Aim: The purpose of this discussion is to present the history of the governance and accreditation of Australian midwifery programs. With a particular focus on the evolution of the Continuity of Care Experience as a now mandated clinical practice based experience. Methods: Historical and contemporary documents, research and grey literature, are drawn together to provide a historical account of midwifery programs in Australia. This will form the background to the inclusion of the Continuity of Care Experience and discuss research requirements to enhance the model to ensure it is educationally sound. Discussion: The structure and processes for the Continuity of Care Experience vary between universities and there is currently no standard format across Australia. As such, how it is interpreted and conducted varies amongst students, childbearing women, academics and midwives. The Continuity of Care Experience has always been strongly advocated for; however there is scant evidence available in terms of its educational theory underpinnings. Conclusion: Research concerned with the intended learning objectives and outcomes for the Continuity of Care Experience will support the learning model and ensure it continues into the future as an educationally sound learning experience for midwifery students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e210-e215
Number of pages6
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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