Midwife sonography training is designed to add additional training to basic midwifery practice and is considered an expanded midwifery practice procedure. Sonography training is not required in order to practice midwifery; however, it is required for midwives who choose to use sonography. Midwives use sonography in the form of ultrasonography, or ultrasound, with the use of a Doppler.
Purpose and Benefit
The purpose of midwife sonography training is to expand the midwife's practice beyond the scope of basic midwifery. This will allow a midwife to use ultrasonagraphy, ultrasound equipment and Dopplers to monitor fetal heart rate and movement. Using this technology also allows midwives to detect the possibility of twins, determine placenta location, and help detect possible problems and complications.
Midwives may receive training from anyone who has previously been trained in sonography, such as a sonographer, physician, nurse or another midwife. Basic ultrasound knowledge may be acquired through lecture, informal instruction or private study. This may occur in a hospital setting, doctor's office, birthing centre or in the home depending on specific training program and the trainer. Training must also include hands-on experience and demonstrated competency.
Training programs must include instruction in ultrasound physics and instrumentation, amniotic fluids and fetal physiology, proper interpretation and documentation. The midwife must be able to demonstrate knowledge in proper use of the equipment as well as when and how it should be used, advantages and disadvantages, benefits and risks, equipment limitations and when to seek an outside referral.
Training programs must include supervised hands-on experience, in which the midwife has the opportunity to prepare the equipment and the mother, accurately obtain and record readings, and interpret and present findings to the mother. Clinical experience is monitored and supervised by a trained professional in the field and may occur in a variety of settings depending on the midwife's practice area and that of her trainer.
The midwife must demonstrate competency prior to incorporating the unsupervised use of ultrasound equipment in the midwifery practice. Competency assessments may be ongoing throughout the learning process or at the end of the training program. The midwife must be able to accurately perform and interpret examinations as is evident by written or verbal examinations and physical demonstration.