USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at //
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

MID8075 Midwifery and Critical Care

Semester 3, 2011 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Nursing and Midwifery

Contents on this page


Examiner: Jill Scanlan
Moderator: Lyn Forrest


Pre-requisite: MID8001 and MID8070 and MID8073 and MID8074 and be enrolled in Program: MMID


Midwives need to be able to safely care for women who have a medical or surgical condition which complicates their childbearing. Midwives also need to be able to manage obstetric emergencies both as the lead professional and as a member of a multi-disciplinary team. Finally, midwives must be able to provide immediate care for a sick or premature infant and care for the infant as it is being transferred to an appropriate special care nursery. To develop core emergency skills, this course includes two days of residential school.


The student will develop knowledge and skills in the assessment and safe care of women who experience deviations from normal childbirth. The course extends students previous learning about the complications of childbearing to prepare them to diagnose and manage obstetric emergencies such as antepartum haemorrhage, postpartum haemorrhage, shoulder dystocia, preterm labour, breech delivery and cord prolapse. The students will extend their neonatal physical assessment skills and make clinical judgments about when and what kind of resuscitation is required for the neonate. Students will participate in providing care to the sick newborn that is an inpatient of a special care nursery unit and learn the principles of stabilizing and preparing the seriously ill newborn for transport to a referral hospital. Attendance at the Residential School is compulsory unless the student can provide evidence of recent attendance (within last year) at an Advanced Life Support Obstetrics (ALSO) course or equivalent.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate the capacity to competently monitor and evaluate maternal and fetal wellbeing and provide safe midwifery care in all circumstances and document appropriately;
  2. demonstrate the capacity to competently monitor and evaluate the progress of Pregnancy, labour and birth and appropriately report and document deviations from normal;
  3. integrate previous medical-surgical knowledge and skills with new knowledge in order to assess, diagnose, plan, treat and evaluate evidence-based midwifery care for women who are experiencing obstetric emergencies and reflect appropriately upon any critical incidents or recurring issues of concern;
  4. clinically integrate and apply knowledge of normal neonatal physiology to be able to facilitate neonatal adaptation to extra-uterine life;
  5. demonstrate capacity to competently perform assessment of the neonate including abnormal and premature infants;
  6. demonstrate capacity to accurately perform a physical assessment of the sick newborn and demonstrate competency in the instigation, performance and conclusion of neonatal resuscitation, including legally appropriate documentation;
  7. provide safe, effective and parentally inclusive care to the sick neonate in a level two nursery, including neonatal monitoring, intra-gastric feeds and heel prick blood tests as required;
  8. apply the principles of developmental care when caring for the preterm neonate;
  9. prepare the sick neonate for transport to a referral hospital in a manner which is safe, effective and sensitive to parental needs;
  10. demonstrate the capacity to competently perform assessment of the postnatal woman of all risk and complication categories and following up with evidenced based care and referral as needed;
  11. apply to practice the principles of appropriate referral as per the Australian College of Midwives Referral Guidelines and/or organisational policy;
  12. demonstrate application of risk management strategies, professional code of ethics and competencies in clinical decision making;
  13. use inquiry based learning techniques to strengthen clinical decision making.


Description Weighting(%)
1. MIDWIFERY EMERGENCIES The assumed location is a rural hospital: Massive APH; Premature labour; Malpresentation: Breech, Oblique Lie, Transverse, Face; Obstructed labour; Maternal distress; Fetal distress; Cord compression and cord prolapse; Shoulder dystocia; Uterine rupture and inversion; Eclampsia; H.E.L.L.P.; D.I.C.; Amniotic Fluid; Embolus; Massive APH or PPH; Psycho-social spiritual impact of life-threatening illness 60.00
2. Caring for the sick neonate - Assessment of the sick neonate - Neonatal resuscitation - Stabilisation and transport - Respiratory disorders - Birth injuries - The baby in an isolette - Tube feeding the sick infant 40.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Cunningham, FG (Ed 2010, Williams Obstetrics, 23rd edn, McGraw-Hill, New York.
  • Pairman, S & Pincombe, J & Thorogood, C & Tracy, SK (editors) 2010, Midwifery preparation for practice, 2nd edn, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, Marrickville, N.S.W.
  • Thureen, PJ & Deacon, J & Hernandez, JA et al (editors) 2005, Assessment and care of the well newborn, 2nd edn, Elsevier Saunders, St Louis.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Cade, J 2002, Uncommon problems in intensive care, Greenwich Medical Media - net library, London.
  • Driscoll, P 2002, Safe transfer and retrieval. The practical approach, BMJ Books - Net library, London.
  • Foundation Studios 1996, Cerebral Palsy, Who is to Blame? Expert Opinion versus evidence based medicine, Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide.
  • Freegard, H (editor) 2007, Ethical practice for health professionals, Thomson, South Melbourne.
  • Garland, D 2000, Waterbirth: An Attitude to Care, 2nd edn, Books for Midwives, Oxford, England.
  • Gilbert, E S & Harman J S 2003, Manual of High Risk Pregnancy and Delivery, 3rd edn, Mosby, St Louis.
  • Jordon, S & Sherwood, K & Murphy, F & Whittaker, V 2002, Pharmacology for midwives, Palsare McMillan - Net library, New York.
  • Lang, S 2002, Breastfeeding Special Care Babies, 2nd edn, Balliere Tindall, Edinburgh.
  • Merenstein, GB & Gardner, SL 2006, Handbook of Neonatal Intensive Care, 6th edn, Mosby, St Louis.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 30.00
Clinical Experience 134.00
Examinations 1.50
Private Study 80.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
BE THE MIDWIFE 40 39 12 Dec 2011
1.5HR CLOSED EXAMINATION 60 60 End S3 (see note 1)

  1. Examination dates will be available during the semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them and to participate actively in discussion groups to maximize their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. The 134 hours clinical experience in this course contributes to the minimum requirement of the program of 800 hours clinical experience. This is to be carried out over three semesters. Clinical experience includes both paid clinical practice and may include a smaller degree of supernumerary, unpaid clinical practice. During clinical placement, students must follow hospital policy and procedure and maintain safe, professional practice as outlined by the practice guidelines of nursing and midwifery professional bodies. Attendance at the Residential school is compulsory unless the student can provide evidence of recent (within twelve months) at an Advanced Life Support Obstetrics (ALSO) course.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    a) To satisfactorily complete the "Be the Midwife" activity students must obtain at least 45% of the marks available the item.

    b) To satisfactorily complete the clinical experience (Clinical Skills Assessment), the MID8075 summary sheet of the students' clinical skills portfolio must be signed off by a registered midwife, and key clinical skills, as outlined in the course objectives and in the Clinical Skills Portfolio, must be assessed by a registered midwife and signed off as 'competent', as measured by the relevant ANMC competency-based assessment tool for that key clinical skill. The student will then be awarded 1 mark for this assessment item. Otherwise zero marks will be awarded and the student will not pass the course.

    c) To satisfactorily complete the examination in the course, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available in the examination.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must - submit all of the assessment items and achieve at least 50% in the examination, at least 45% of the available weighted marks for the ?Be the Midwife? and 100% for ?Clinical Skills Assessment?.

    Students who do not qualify for a passing grade may, at the discretion of the examiner, be awarded a supplementary examination and/or assigned additional work to demonstrate the the examiner that they have achieved the required standard. It is expected that such students will have gained at least 45% of the total marks available for all summative assessment items.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held in the fourth week of the semester following this course offering and the examiner will advise students involved in writing of the date time and location of any such examination.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested, students will be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being made.

  3. The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements.

  5. In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the Examiner's convenience.

  6. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  7. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  8. Students will require access to email and internet access to USQ Connect for this course.