What does a Nurse Midwife do?
Diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process, either independently or as part of a healthcare team. May provide well-woman gynecological care. Must have specialized, graduate nursing education.
- Educate patients and family members regarding prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, newborn, or interconceptional care.
- Provide prenatal, intrapartum, postpartum, or newborn care to patients.
- Document patients' health histories, symptoms, physical conditions, or other diagnostic information.
- Monitor fetal development by listening to fetal heartbeat, taking external uterine measurements, identifying fetal position, or estimating fetal size and weight.
- Perform physical examinations by taking vital signs, checking neurological reflexes, examining breasts, or performing pelvic examinations.
- Consult with or refer patients to appropriate specialists when conditions exceed the scope of practice or expertise.
- Develop and implement individualized plans for health care management.
- Document findings of physical examinations.
- Explain procedures to patients, family members, staff members or others.
- Initiate emergency interventions to stabilize patients.
- Manage newborn care during the first weeks of life.
- Provide primary health care, including pregnancy and childbirth, to women.
- Order and interpret diagnostic or laboratory tests.
- Prescribe medications as permitted by state regulations.
- Provide patients with direct family planning services such as inserting intrauterine devices, dispensing oral contraceptives, and fitting cervical barriers including cervical caps or diaphragms.
- Write information in medical records or provide narrative summaries to communicate patient information to other health care providers.
- Conduct clinical research on topics such as maternal or infant health care, contraceptive methods, breastfeeding, and gynecological care.
- Establish practice guidelines for specialty areas such as primary health care of women, care of the childbearing family, and newborn care.
- Read current literature, talk with colleagues, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in midwifery.
- Plan, provide, or evaluate educational programs for nursing staff, health care teams, or the community.