The Role Of Nurses And State Licensure

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When you hear the word midwife, do you, like most everyone else, conjure up an image of an extinct profession--- one held by an old granny delivering babies in rural communities with nothing more than a bag full of witchcraft, herbs, and superstition? While this character may have existed 75 years ago, midwives of today have evolved into a vital and popular part of the maternity-care system. The term midwife means “with woman,” and is collectively represented by hospital-based Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), home-based Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), and a host of labels like direct-entry, lay, or traditional midwife. The latter three types of midwives are primarily apprentice-trained and state licensure is not guaranteed. Regardless of midwives’ specific titles, their service to the healthcare industry stems from the midwifery model of care they employ. This model views pregnancy as a marker of health; therefore standard, and consequently expensive, equipment and testing is not employed as routinely or without undue cause. While midwives who work in hospitals frequently must adhere to hospital protocols and obstetrician orders, home-based midwives have more flexibility and a broader range of normal that allows each individual woman and her pregnancy the opportunity to unfold as it sees fit, provided it remains healthy without signs of risk. If this model of care was able to successfully provide for so many woman and their babies a century ago, why not encourage
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