On the 5th of May, we staged an open day event to celebrate the International Day of the Midwife. Held globally, this day is a chance to acknowledge and recognise the incredible work and contribution of midwives to maternal and newborn health. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, we organised the event into multiple sessions.
The welcome reception for our in-person attendees was hosted by Jodie Hosking, Manager, Operations – CSDS.
Adjunct Professor Alana Geary, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer of Metro North opened the event. Alana talked about how midwives are at every step of the birthing process from after conception, right through to the end of pregnancy and often into the future. Alana also highlighted the results of The Lance Global Health’s modelling study that greater investment in midwives would equate to saving 4.3 million lives per year by 2035 and can reduce 67% of maternal deaths and 64% of newborn deaths.
Belinda Faulkner, Nursing Director of CSDS welcomed the in-person attendees. Belinda talked about how this year’s theme, “Follow the data: Invest in Midwives”, resonated with one of our latest initiatives in maternity training and education, the Maternity Education Program (MEP).
Sue Hampton, lead subject-matter expert for MEP, announced the launch of MEPcast during the welcome reception. MEPcast will explore ideas and discuss issues on how we can enhance and improve the delivery of maternity care in Queensland. The opening season of this series will span 12 episodes. MEPcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and on the MEP website.
To showcase some of our current work in simulation-based maternity care training and education, in-person attendees were given a guided tour of the different ways we have been using simulation in training and education delivery.
The highlight of the tour was showcasing our exploratory work in extended reality technology (i.e., virtual reality, augmented reality) for simulation-based training. We demonstrated a pre-eclampsia scenario using the Oxford Medical Simulation (OMS) software with an Oculus headset. The OMS software is designed to deliver medical scenarios in virtual reality. This gives the participants the benefits of traditional simulation in an alternate modality. This also allows participants to practice more, learn from their mistakes, and improve patient care without endangering a patient.
The panel discussion was moderated by Sue Hampton, Johnson & Johnson’s Queensland Midwife of the Year 2009. Invited to the speak on the panel were Katrine Aasekjaer, Lynne Buetow, Sheena Byrom, Marcia Morris, Elline Skirnisdottir Vik , and Elisha Swift.
Topics that were discussed included: the models of care and birthing options in different countries, the different pathways in becoming a midwife, the challenges of working outside your home country, and the complexities and realities of working in challenging environments (i.e., conflict zones and in countries affected by endemic diseases). The in-person and livestream audience had the opportunity to ask questions to the panel. The panel discussion ended with a cake cutting by the speakers.
The celebration was a success judging by the amount of discussion and reflection it generated. The interactive demonstrations and the launch of MEPcast represent our response to this year’s theme of investing more in our midwives. More importantly, the panel discussion highlighted the great work of many committed, skilled, and inspirational midwives around the world.
For more information about MEP, please visit the MEP website.