Sustainability Week Nine: DFLP08.

These two posts on sustainability had been posted as pages. I have just corrected this and put them in posts. This means they are a wee bit out of sequence as they were originally posted in early May 08.

I am falling behind a little with the posting on the DFLP course and will try to catch up so that I can complete week 10 this week.

This post relates to the week nine topic of sustainability . The following bullet points are taken from Dr Sam mann’s blog on the issue of sustainability at Otago Polytechnic. There is a wiki which has been developed which demonstrates how the school of midwifery is supporting the concepts of sustainability and preparing students for sustainable practice. The blogs where Sarah Stewart and myself have been blogging on matters pertaining to midwifery and midwifery education are featured as components of this movement towards sustainability.

1.What does it mean

to be a sustainable practitioner in your field? (and what progress are you making towards this)

The concepts of sustainability towards the environment fit very well with the concepts promoted by midwifery as the guardians of normal childbirth. Normal intervention fee birth is acknowledged as having the best outcomes for birth the mother and child both emotionally and physically. Intervention free birth also reduces the amount of resources and consumables that are required to facilitate the birth of the baby. Breast feeding is also an environmentally friendly option for feeding and nourishing a baby.

Personally I have had a dislike for the use of disposable nappies and disposable baby wipes, but acknowledge that their use is a decision for the parents to make. I now feel some greater justification discussing th benefits of disposable nappies and would also mention nappy free babies as an option for new parents The decision is still ultimately the parents to make.

As a midwifery educator I need to be aware of the issues of sustaining midwives in practice and consider how I can play part in supporting them. I can do this by helping students to reflect on what they might need to support and sustain them in practice and help them to plan towards sustainable practice from day one. I can also help by providing locum cover for midwives as I do now to allow rural midwives to have some time off. The presentation I attended recently by Christine Webb made me consider undertaking systematic reviews on topics that my be of interest and support to midwives in practice. I could research what evidence in availale and compile a report, perhaps writing an article for publication form this.

2. How is this understanding being reflected in your programmes (Graduate profiles, learning outcomes etc)

I believe that we have always been concerned about these issues in the School of Midwifery and have been adapting and changing he program we deliver to make it sore sustainable and more available to prospective students. I do beleive that providing open access to courses of interest to midwives would be another way in which we as am educational institution could support midwives in practice, allowing greater access and flexibility for midwives in how they access and engage with the material of the course.

3. Evidence of how this is making a difference in teaching and learning.

Although the School of Midwifery has no been moving in the direction of providing open access to course material we have been moving towards more flexible and sustainable midwifery education. Nest year we will be delivering the first year of the program in a much more flexible way. supporting women to remain in their own community for most of the course and developing course material designed for delivery at a distance or blended face to face and distanc.

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