Clinical Competence

  • Clinical competence requires an adequate knowledge and attitude base for safe practice as well as the mastery of a variety of skills.
  • Clinical competence is assessed by using a midwifery practice record (MPR).
  • The MPR is usually completed by the PEP Facilitator or another designated person in discussion with the PEP venue's midwifery staff.
  • You should always have an opportunity to discuss your clinical report with your PEP Facilitator.

Assessment of your clinical competence includes:

  • assessment of your clinical skills
  • assessment of your theoretical knowledge, and
  • assessment of your attitudes.

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Midwifery practice portfolio

In addition to the MPR, you are required to keep an account of the midwifery practice that you undertake throughout the Bachelor of Midwifery program. Midwifery practice is an integral part of the program and provides the opportunity to link theory to practice in a variety of settings.

Your completion of the Midwifery Practice Portfolio (MPP) will provide evidence of:

  • daily attendance at placement
  • identification and achievement of professional experience placement objectives
  • formative assessment: daily feedback received from supervising midwives
  • summative assessment: satisfactory completion of placement - Midwifery Practice Records
  • clinical practices and procedures achieved on a daily and semester basis - skills templates and cumulative record of required skills

You must thoroughly read the MPP instructions which outline the minimum professional experience requirements for midwifery students.

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Self-assessment of progress

With your PEP Facilitator, the RM and/or the relevant clinical staff at your placement venue, you are expected to:

  • identify your ongoing learning needs and develop strategies for meeting them
  • continually evaluate your progress towards achieving these learning needs

In particular, you are expected to:

  • establish a working relationship with the clinical team
  • evaluate your own progress towards achievement of the topic learning objectives and the relevant NMBA competencies
  • elicit feedback about your professional experience placement from both your PEP facilitator and the clinical staff
  • maintain communication with the clinical staff regarding patients' health status
  • provide patient care consistent with the objectives outlined in the Topic Details booklet, under the direction and supervision of an RM
  • be accountable to supervising clinical staff for the care you provide.

Self-assessment hints

  • Make sure you are familiar with the learning objectives, skills list and competencies you are expected to achieve by the end of the placement (see Topic Details booklet).
  • Be clear in your mind about which of these relate to PEP: if you are uncertain seek clarification from your PEP facilitator or Topic Coordinator.
  • At the end of every clinical shift/session reflect on and document the adequacy of your progress.
  • Use your midwifery practice portfolio to record your reflections.
  • If you are uncertain of any skill, seek assistance from your PEP facilitator or RM on the ward.
  • Ask for feedback and support from the RM, PEP liaison and/or PEP facilitator.
  • Incorporate any feedback into your reflective process.
  • Assess your degree of confidence and competence before you begin the next professional experience topic and develop strategies for how to improve in these areas.

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If you have problems meeting learning objectives

During your placement you may find some of the learning objectives more difficult to achieve than others. If you are having difficulties achieving any of the learning objectives, you can talk with your PEP Facilitator. They will assist you in developing strategies to achieve the outcomes.

If your performance on placement fails to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) competencies or the learning objectives for your topic, your PEP Facilitator and Topic Coordinator may place you on a Professional Learning Plan (PLP). This requires successful completion of competencies and learning objectives outlined in the PLP within a set timeframe.

Information about Professional Learning Plans is available from the PEP General Information: Problems and Concerns webpage.

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Unsafe Practice

A student who demonstrates unsafe clinical practices will immediately be withdrawn from the PEP venue.

Unsafe professional experience is defined as:

  • inadequate knowledge base to sustain safe practice
  • unsafe performance of any skill, including unprofessional communication
  • unprofessional behaviour that places patients at risk of physical harm, unreasonable emotional distress or neglect
  • unlawful or unethical behaviour
  • incorrect medication administration

The PEP Facilitator will notify the Topic Coordinator and Course Coordinator in writing of the circumstances requiring your withdrawal from placement. You may be able to return on a PEP once the matter has been discussed with the PEP Facilitator, Topic Coordinator and the venue, and appropriate measures have been put in place for your return.

You will not be considered for reinstatement if the level of safety is at a fail level.

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