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(MIDW200 Clinical Midwifery Practice 2 OR MIDW213 Midwifery Professional Practice 3 ) AND MIDW216 Midwifery Care of the Birthing Woman

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit extends and integrates learning through simulation laboratories and supervised clinical practice. The focus is on collaborative midwifery care for women experiencing complications and emergencies. Students will continue to participate in and learn from the Continuity of Care Experiences. This unit is required by students to assist them to develop knowledge and skills regarding complexities in the care of childbearing women.

The aim of this third Clinical Midwifery Practice unit is support students in the application of a clinical decision-making framework to assess, plan, provide and evaluate woman-centred, evidence-based midwifery care of women with complex care needs. It builds on earlier learning about the anatomy and the physiological processes of childbearing.

We recognise that people who access maternity care may have diverse gender identities, that those who do can experience marginalisation and oppression, and that using appropriate terminology can help with these community members’ recognition and visibility, acknowledge the variety of pregnancy and birth experiences people may have, and respect individuals’ preferences. To reflect this, terms such as ‘pregnant person’, ‘birthing person’, ‘childbearing people’, ‘parent’ and ‘chestfeeding’ may be used in the midwifery courses at ACU in addition to ‘woman’, ‘mother’, ‘maternity’, ‘maternal’ and ‘breastfeeding’, which are used not to exclude those who do not identify as a woman, but in recognition that women continue to be marginalised and oppressed in many places around the world and to respect their own individual preferences.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Apply legal and ethical frameworks, policies and procedures to provide competent midwifery care within scope of practice;GC1, GC2, GC4, GC7, GC9, GC11, GC12
LO2Use a clinical decision-making framework to assess, plan, provide and evaluate safe, woman-centred, evidence-based midwifery care of women with complex needs, across the childbearing continuum in collaboration with other members of the health care team;GC1, GC2, GC4, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC12
LO3Demonstrate safe and effective use of technology in midwifery and obstetric practice;GC1, GC2, GC10, GC12
LO4Apply a woman-centred approach and effective communication skills in establishing, maintaining and concluding relationships with women during their childbearing journey, particularly for women with complex needs;GC1, GC2, GC11, GC12
LO5Reflect on their learning to initiate and evaluate effective learning and self-care strategies for themselves and others in relation to complex care and emergency situations;GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC6, GC9, GC11
LO6Extend their professional portfolio, demonstrating development towards the NMBA (2018) Midwifery Standards for Practice using examples of skill development and midwifery practice in caring for the woman with complex needs.GC1, GC2, GC3, GC9, GC11

NMBA Midwife Standards for Practice 

NMBA (2018) Midwife Standards for Practice developed in this unit are: 

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Standard 1: Promotes health and wellbeing through evidence-based midwifery practice 

1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1.6;  


Standard 2: Engages in professional relationships and respectful partnerships  

2.2; 2.3; 2.7;

LO1; LO2; LO4

Standard 3: Demonstrates the capability and accountability for midwifery practice  

3.1; 3.2; 3.3; 3.5; 3.6; 3.7; 3.8

LO1; LO2; LO5; LO6 

Standard 4: Undertakes comprehensive assessments  

4.1; 4.2; 4.3

LO2; LO3

Standard 5: Develops plans for midwifery practice  

5.2; 5.4 


Standard 6: Provides safety and quality in midwifery practice  

6.1; 6.3; 6.4

LO2; LO3; LO5 

Standard 7: Evaluates outcomes to improve midwifery practice  

7.1; 7.3 

LO2; LO5 


Topics will include: 

Legal and professional practice 

  • Scope of practice 
  • Documentation and use of health informatics and health technology 
  • Consultation and collaboration 
  • Medication knowledge and administration 
  • Med+Safe medication calculations
  • Assertive communication skills

Midwifery knowledge and practice 

  • Care and assessment of women with complex needs: 
  • Variations related to position, lie and presentation of the fetus in utero 
  • Hypertension 
  • Preterm labour 
  • Gestational diabetes 
  • Haemorrhage 
  • Prolonged labour and obstructed labour 
  • Management of life threatening emergencies 
  • Fetal distress 
  • Shoulder dystocia 
  • Cord prolapse 
  • Uterine inversion 
  • Amniotic fluid embolism and coagulation disorders 
  • Eclampsia 
  • Maternal shock and collapse 
  • Procedures 
  • IV infusions 
  • Syringe drivers 
  • MgSO4 
  • Scalp electrode 
  • Fetal fibronectin 
  • Blood transfusions 
  • Speculum examination 
  • ECG 

 Midwifery as primary health care 

  • Consultation and referral 
  • Therapeutic and professional communication 

 Reflective and ethical practice 

  • Self-care and debriefing strategies 
  • Incorporating evidence-based practice 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include group learning activities such as skill demonstrations, simulated practice, online classroom, supervisied clinical practice, participation in the the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE) and self-directed study.  Consistent with adult learning principles, the teaching and learning strategies used within these modes of delivery will provide students with foundational knowledge and skills relevant to professional midwifery practice.  Development of knowledge, skills and understanding will also be supported using 'hands on' methods, story sharing, community linking and other Aboriginal ways of learning. These strategies will also support students in meeting the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit and the broader course learning outcomes. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively with peers.  Scenario-based learning, case-based learning, problem-based learning and inquiry-based learning are all used to support the development of students' independent learning ability

Students undertaking a tertiary qualification need skills to assist them in managing their individual learning. Feedback and effective self-reflection are required to identify what is being done well, what requires additional work and to identify progress toward required learning outcomes. Located in the second year of the programme, this clinical unit assists students to link theory with its application and to build life-long learning skills. Group learning activities are utilised to convey content and central principles while laboratories and simulation deliver interactive learning sessions which assist students to apply theory to clinical practice and build self-reflection skills. The supervised clinical practicum of 120 hours provides a safe environment where students can provide assisted woman-centred care essential for successful graduate practice.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures consistent with University assessment requirements will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes.  

The on-campus assessment will provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate developed skills in the safety of a simulated experience using the Aboriginal 'hands on' way of knowing. The continued development of the professional midwifery portfolio will allow the students to showcase their learning experiences (clinical and CCE) in a professional manner ensuring that documentation meets the professional legal requirements for practice experiences. Students must achieve a pass grade in both assessment tasks to pass this unit. 

These assessments are required to build student knowledge and skills which, by the conclusion of this programme, will enable the student to graduate as a safe and effective midwife.   

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

On-campus Practice Competency 

Enables students to demonstrate competency in professional behavour, communication skills and safe and effective implementation of midwifery skills and knowledge for the woman experiencing birthing complications and emergencies.


LO2, LO4

Professional Midwifery Portfolio 

Enables students to showcase their clinical experiences in a professional manner, inclusive of the Continuity of Care Experience, ensuring that documentation meets the professional and legal requirements for practice. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

Representative texts and references

Australian College of Midwives [ACM]. (2021). National Midwifery Guidelines for Consultation and Referral (4th ed.). Australian College of Midwives.

Bryant, B., Knights, K., Rowland, A., & Darroch, S. (2018). Pharmacology for Health Professionals (5th ed.). Elsevier. 

MacDonald, S., & Johnson, G. & Mayes. M. (Eds.). (2017). Mayes' Midwifery (15th edition.). Elsevier.

Marshall, J., & Raynor, M. (Eds.). (2020). Myles Textbook for Midwives (17th ed.). Elsevier. 

Pairman, S., Tracey, S., Dahlen, H., & Dixon, L. (2018). Midwifery: Preparation for Practice (4th ed.). Elsevier.

Reuwer, P., Bruinse, H., & Franx, A. (2015). Proactive support of labour: The challenge of normal childbirth (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Rankin, J. (Ed.). (2017). Physiology in Childbearing with Anatomy and Related Biosciences (4th ed.). Elsevier. 

Taylor, B. (2010). Reflective Practice for Healthcare Professionals: A Practical Guide (3rd ed.). Open University Press.  

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists [RANZCOG]. (2019). Intrapartum Fetal Surveillance (4th ed.). Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists.

Wylie, L. & Bryce, H. (2016) The Midwives' Guide to Key Medical Conditions (2nd ed.). Elsevier.

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