A fitting time to celebrate Year of the Midwife

2020 has been rightfully deemed Year of the Nurse and Midwife, as these healthcare professionals have been deemed superheroes during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Three local student midwives reflect on their journeys to their chosen profession, during this milestone year.

Madeleine Alessi, Tiarne Morvell and Carly Batson are currently studying their postgraduate diploma in midwifery, while working at Mildura Base Hospital.  This partnership sees the local hospital recruit registered nurses to upskill to midwives, by supporting them to study the Graduate Diploma in Midwifery.

Madeleine says caring runs in her family.  She was travelling overseas after graduating from her Nursing degree when the midwifery opportunity came up in her home town.

“I knew I wanted to become a midwife from seven years old, watching my baby sister be born.  I remember at the time it didn’t scare me at all, I thought it was the best thing ever!  I was actually in Scotland and due to the time difference, I ended up having my Skype interview at 12.30am!”.

For Carly, the program has meant that she can fulfil her dreams of becoming a midwife while raising her family locally.

“This opportunity has made it a lot easier for me, as it is a paid program which means I can still support my family.  I was very excited to get in.  It was a shock, I actually cried!”

TIarne says the program provides a supported environment to learn.

“The Postgraduate Diploma through La Trobe at Mildura Base Hospital is phenomenal.  Being able to work hands on in the clinical environment as your paid job, whilst studying, makes such a difference to your learning.”

All three students say that COVID-19 restrictions have made the midwifery learning challenging, with changes to ward allocations within the Mildura Base Hospital.  Furthermore, as part of their learning they are required to attend antenatal appointments with expectant mothers, which too has been difficult to navigate during the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has made our midwifery training difficult, as there are new restrictions.  But the staff at the hospital have been very supportive through the challenging times,” says Carly.

Every year Mildura Base Hospital offers three positions for local Registered Nurses to upskill to midwives by studying La Trobe’s Graduate Diploma in Midwifery.  Head of Campus, Dr Deb Neal says the partnership has been productive in alleviating local workforce needs.

“This arrangement has been successful because it’s about training local people to stay and work locally.  It’s wonderful this year that three La Trobe Nursing alumni, in Madeleine, Tiarne and Carly, have all studied their nursing degrees at the campus here in Mildura and can now specialise in midwifery, without moving away.”

The year of the Nurse and Midwife is globally recognised by the World Health Organisation and which also coincides the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

Discover more about studying Nursing and Midwifery at La Trobe’s Open Day at home virtual event on Sunday 23 August.

Media enquiries
Ashlee Ryan, Advisor, Marketing & Engagement  
T 03 5051 4069 a.ryan2@latrobe.edu.au