Preparing medical students for normal birth: an interactive workshop by pre-registration midwifery students.

Clare Hughes, Gail Anderson, Dorothy Patterson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


There is an increasing recognition of the need to improve inter professional relationships within clinical practice (DoH, 2001). Evidence supports the assertion that health care professionals who are able to communicate and work effectively together and who have a mutual respect and understanding for one another’s roles will provide a higher standard of care (McPherson et al, 2001; Begley, 2008). Providing inter professional education within a University setting offers an opportunity for a non-threatening learning environment where students can develop confidence and build collaborative working relationships with one another (Saxell et al, 2009).
An inter-professional education initiative was developed in Queen’s University Belfast within the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery and Medicine and piloted in 2014. The aim of the collaboration was to introduce concepts of normal labour and birth to fourth year medical students prior to their obstetric and gynaecological placement in hospital. The teaching staff felt this would be an excellent opportunity for final year pre-registration midwifery students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding on normality in labour and birth by preparing interactive workshops with the medical students. The midwifery students were provided with an outline agenda in relation to content for the workshop, but then were allowed creative licence with regard to delivery of the workshop. The workshops consisted of approximately 4 midwifery students to 12 medical students. Resources such as birthing balls, birth mannequins, dolls and pelvises were available to the students to increase interactivity. Significant emphasis was placed upon the importance of relationship building with women in labour and the concept of being ‘with woman’ was core to all elements of teaching. Midwifery students undertook acting roles such as the labouring woman, partner or a midwife role and acted out mini scenarios such as contacting for advice about early labour; positions for labour or positions for birth. Medical students were prompted to vocalise about their feelings towards labour and birth and encouraged to think about their role within the birth setting.
Preliminary evaluations of the workshops have been extremely positive from both the midwifery students and the medical students. The midwifery students have commented on the enjoyable aspects of team working for preparing for the workshop and also the confidence gained from teaching the medical students. The medical students have evaluated the teaching by the midwifery students positively and felt that it lowered their anxiety going into the labour setting. A number of midwifery and medical students have subsequently worked with one another within the practice setting which has been recognised as beneficial. Both Schools have recognised the benefits of this form of inter professional education and have subsequently made a commitment to embed it within each curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2015
EventNormal Labour and Birth Conference - The Grange Hotel, Grange over Sands, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Jun 201517 Jun 2015


ConferenceNormal Labour and Birth Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Dive into the research topics of 'Preparing medical students for normal birth: an interactive workshop by pre-registration midwifery students.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this