A midwife assistant is a trained or semi-trained professional who assists a licensed midwife during labor and delivery. Individual responsibilities vary depending on the midwife and the location, but they typically include office work, simple patient tasks such as taking blood pressure and weight, and assisting with actual births. In many cases, the midwife assistant is also a midwife apprentice, which means she is studying to become a certified midwife.
The primary responsibility of a midwife assistant is to assist the midwife with tasks that she is unable to complete due to her busy schedule. This could include secretarial duties such as scheduling appointments and responding to patient inquiries. She might also be responsible for billing duties such as contacting insurance companies and filing claims. In some cases, the assistant may also perform simple tasks with patients, such as scheduling appointments or accompanying the midwife to learn how to perform tasks such as taking blood pressure, listening to the baby’s heart rate, and weighing the patient.
Frequently, a midwife assistant will attend births alongside the midwife to assist with specific tasks during labor and delivery. These may include keeping track of labor contractions, recording information for the birth certificate, such as the time of birth, and assisting the mother. An assistant’s level of responsibility and responsibilities will be determined his or her level of training and experience.
Apprentices who work as assistants have typically completed training in midwifery, nursing, or both. Nurses are generally capable of dealing with a wide range of medical situations, whereas less trained assistants may need to be physically accompanied a midwife in order to perform procedures or provide advice to patients. The laws governing assistants in various roles differ depending on where they work. In some states, no prior training is required to work as a midwife assistant, as long as the midwife providing patient care and/or training is licensed and has worked in the field for several years. In some cases, the midwife may also require coaching or teaching training.
It is necessary to be familiar with the local laws in order to obtain employment as a midwife assistant. Those who want to work with patients instead of just being a secretary should research what training is required to become an assistant or a midwife if they want to apprentice. Because midwifery is not legal in every state, opportunities may be limited in some areas.