Vesagas: Philippine Midwifery Week-A A +A
Thursday, October 17, 2013
(Writer’s note: This is an edited and paraphrased version of my article published in the ‘Quill,’ the official school paper of Tagoloan Community College, a local government unit-run higher education institution located at Baluarte, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental. I find the material timely considering this week is about the midwifery profession).
PERHAPS midwifery is among the oldest professions that have ever existed.
If we study literatures, it is said that midwifery is the practice of obstetrics, a field in health sciences that focuses on caring for the woman from pregnancy to childbirth.
Midwives have so much to contribute for the safe delivery of the baby and in preventing complications of the mother.
Unfortunately, there are not enough midwives in the country to render maternal and child care especially to the rural populations, who are remote from accessing maternal health services from a doctor.
Furthermore, there are not enough midwifery schools that produce competent midwives.
In terms of educational preparations, traditionally, it takes only two years of college education (a diploma degree) and a licensure examination to become a midwife in our country.
Registered nurses desiring to practice midwifery must take and pass the midwifery licensure exam first.
To be eligible, the nurse must show evidence to the board of midwifery that he or she has handled 20 deliveries and has sutured five vaginal lacerations and has rendered five intravenous insertions.
In another vein, with the goal of developing critical thinking midwives who demonstrate beginning professional competencies as evidenced by the assumption of accountability for personal and professional development that contribute to the enrichment of the midwifery profession, the Tagoloan Community College (TCC) opened a four-year undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Midwifery last June 2013.
The said program is a ‘ladderized’ curriculum that starts with a two-year Graduate in Midwifery (G.M.). After which, the student takes the government licensure examinations as administered by the Professional Regulations Commission to become full-pledged registered midwives.
Once registered, the professional midwife has the option to come back at TCC to enrol for another two years to earn the B.S. in Midwifery degree or may start practicing the profession and gain meaningful employment both in the locality or abroad.
The graduates of the two-year G.M. Degree may function as a staff midwife, domiciliary midwife, rural health midwife and clinical instructor.
On the other hand, graduates of the four-year B.S. Midwifery may find employment as: a faculty or trainer; supervisor; principal of a midwifery school; health facility administrator; researcher; entrepreneur; clinic manager or owner; and health program manager.
Students of this program are given quality exposure both to the hospitals, clinics and communities to hone their skills and apply their theoretical knowledge.
Prior graduation to the G.M. Program and before licensure examinations, students are required to handle at least 20 deliveries, assist to at least 20 deliveries, render cord care to at least 20 newborns, suture at least five cases of vaginal lacerations, and assist in intravenous insertions of at least five obstetrics cases.
Meanwhile, the B.S. in Midwifery program will focus on more advanced practice roles of midwives like managing a private lying-in clinic, clinical teaching and midwifery research.
To date, TCC is the second school in Misamis Oriental to offer a ladderized program in midwifery leading to a bachelor’s degree.
Perhaps one distinguishing mark of the midwifery program in TCC is that it offers quality education at a very affordable tuition fee.
As a matter of fact, TCC has the lowest tuition fee for any medical or health-related course in the region.
The pioneering class of the program has 57 students.
The first batch of this program is expected to graduate on March 2015 for the diploma program and March 2017 for the B.S. Midwifery program.
[Email the columnist: email@example.com]
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 18, 2013.