Technology supports careers of Midwifery students

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Technology supports careers of Midwifery students


USC Master of Midwifery students Lauren Randall (left) and Jane Hawthorne on campus

19 September 2014

Two University of the Sunshine Coast Midwifery students have been invited to tell a national conference about their pioneering use of online portfolios to follow the progress of women they support through pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care.

Jane Hawthorne, 24, of Maroochy River, and Lauren Randall, 27, of Kings Beach, will present to the Australian College of Midwives Conference at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast on Wednesday 24 September.

Dr Christine Slade, who is Academic Developer (ePortfolios) with USC’s Centre for the Support and Advancement of Learning and Teaching (C-SALT), said USC’s Master of Midwifery students were the first to use this technology in clinical assessments, with benefits for the students and the women they cared for on work placements.

“Midwifery students have to store a great deal of evidence both for university assessment throughout their studies and for professional development during their careers, but hard copies become unwieldy,” Dr Slade said.

“The PebblePad ePortfolio suits this generation of midwives who are technology savvy and connected through their mobile devices. It’s a one-stop shop for storing valuable experiences in a reflective format, which assists with continuity of care.”

Ms Hawthorne, who recently graduated and works at Nambour General Hospital, said the ePortfolio was a useful tool in maintaining profiles of each woman, including details of antenatal and postnatal appointments and birthing.

“I can keep collating my experiences and competencies in this portfolio over my whole career, and can easily take it around the world,” she said.

Ms Hawthorne’s love of midwifery was sparked during a practicum in the final year of her USC Bachelor of Nursing Science. She recently returned from volunteering with World Youth International in Kenya, where she provided nursing assistance at health facilities.

Dr Slade said use of the ePortfolios was being rolled out across disciplines at the University to facilitate high quality learning and graduate outcomes for students.

Julie Schomberg

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