How can universities ‘ASSIST’ student midwives with additional needs to achieve?
Previous articles have discussed how pre-registration midwifery education should prepare student midwives ‘to cope with the complex emotional and physical demands of their chosen profession’ (
In terms of literacy and numeracy, the NMC Standards for Pre-registration Midwifery Education (2009) state that for an applicant to be accepted onto a pre-registration midwifery programme they must be able to ‘manipulate numbers accurately […] including using a calculator’ and ‘read and comprehend (in English or Welsh) and communicate clearly and effectively in writing, including a computer’ (NMC, 2009). In terms of inclusivity: ‘if a student has a disability, the above criteria can be met through the use of reasonable adjustments’ (NMC, 2009).
The programme must have at least 50% practice and no less than 40% theory and should include a range of learning, teaching and assessment strategies. In order to qualify as a midwife, students must demonstrate competency in the following four domains: effective midwifery practice; professional and ethical practice; developing the individual midwife and others; achieving quality care through evaluation and research (NMC, 2009). Clearly the demands of the programme are extensive and could be exacerbated if students with additional needs, disabilities or medical conditions are not provided with additional support services by their University.
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