Midwives train up paramedics to improve maternity care in the community


More than 100 paramedics have boosted their skills in delivering emergency maternity care in the community after completing a maternity training program developed by Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) and NSW Ambulance.

The program pairs paramedics with midwives for a full day’s placement at Nepean Hospital’s Birth Unit to support paramedics to manage out of hospital birthing and maternal emergencies by offering interprofessional education and clinical placement support.

A typical day of activities in the program sees paramedics assist in all types of birth scenarios including vaginal births (including water births) and emergency caesareans, as well as how to provide care during obstetric emergencies such as shoulder dystocia.

The training program enables paramedics to provide care throughout labour, birth and early postnatal period.

Midwives are able to share their expert knowledge to help paramedics further develop their skills to provide care during birth in the community, this includes in the event of an obstetric emergency.

NSW Ambulance Paramedic, Tim Timmer, has completed the training program and already applied skills learnt from his experience working with the hospital midwives.

Minster for Health Ryan Park said:

“For midwives, provision of labour and birth care are day to day experiences, but paramedics experience labour and birth less often in the community.

“When they do, the births are often unexpected and may sometimes be emergencies.

“This training ensures that our paramedics are best placed to provide care and treatment in these circumstances, fostering improved health outcomes.”

NSW Ambulance Chief Executive Dr Dominic Morgan said:

“This partnership with Nepean Hospital will further optimise maternity care in the local community.

“This is a great example of highly skilled paramedics working collaboratively with hospital maternity clinicians to share their skills and knowledge to provide the best possible care to women and their babies.”

Member for Penrith Karen McKeown said:

“I am so proud that this life saving training is taking place right here at Nepean Hospital.”

Nepean Hospital Divisional Manager of Women and Children’s Health and midwife, Kerry Tosswill said:

“This program is a great opportunity for these two highly skilled professional groups to come together to learn and share knowledge to improve patient care.

“This program demonstrates innovation in action within our health system.

“The program is leading quality improvements to ensure safer patient care through partner agency engagement and inter-professional learning.

“The skills transfer that occurs within this clinical placement support is immediate, delivering instant benefits to maternal outcomes and experiences.”

NSW Ambulance Paramedic, Tim Timmer said:

“You develop a heightened confidence and when you apply that out in the field you can systematically go step by step knowing that you’ve seen this before, you know what happens next and this is what I need to do.”

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