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HNM214 - The Woman During Labour and Birth

Unit details

Year2015 unit information
Enrolment modes:

Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), CBD*, Warrnambool, Waterfront (Geelong)

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Cohort rule:

Students must be enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Midwifery to enrol in this unit

Unit chair:

Margaret Pszczolkowski

Campus contact:

Burwood (Melbourne): Franki McMahon, Warrnambool: Erin Guiney





Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

8 x 2 hour seminars, 6 hours simulation, 8 x 2 hour cloud (online) classes per trimester, 2 week clinical placement


*CBD refers to Institute of Koorie Education – Community Based Delivery


This unit is the second midwifery specific unit in the Clinical Studies in Nursing and Midwifery 2 cluster. In this unit principles of midwifery care during labour, birth and the immediate time after giving birth are the focus. The content builds on the previous units studied and extends students' knowledge and skills in relation to caring for women during each phase of labour and immediately following birth. The unit provides opportunities for students to further develop their knowledge of the anatomy and physiology which underpins the process of human reproduction as applied to a woman in labour. Students will also examine pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions used to relieve pain during labour and birth and midwifery care strategies to support the woman during labour, following birth and care of the newborn infant. Students will have opportunity to apply and integrate knowledge and skills learned in this unit and previous units during a two (2) week clinical placement.


Assessment task 1: Written report: 40% (equivalent to 1000 words) 

This report will allow students to increase their knowledge and understanding of the anatomy and physiological changes experienced by women during labour and birth. Students will need to apply this knowledge in midwifery practice settings.

Assessment task 2: Examination: 60% (1.5 hours closed book, equivalent to 1500 words) 

Formal written examination will cover all aspects of the unit. The examination will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions incorporating all unit content. The examination will require students to demonstrate understanding of the anatomical and physiological adaptations of the woman during labour and birth, rationales for care, and physiological adaptations of the newborn infant to extrauterine life.

Assessment task 3: Clinical assessment: Pass/Fail (equivalent to 1000 words) 

Failure of the clinical component will lead to a fail in this unit and may lead to exclusion.

Clinical assessment involves the students successfully completing a two (2) week practicum together with the completion of documenting their midwifery experiences and the completion of any associated Midwifery Skills for this unit. The successful completion of the Midwifery Portfolio and clinical practicum is considerable and requires students to safely integrate knowledge and skills, apply theory in practice situations, and demonstrate progression and consolidation of clinical competencies across a range of professional domains. Although no numerical weighting is attributed to the clinical assessment in terms of the final unit result, clinical is competency-based and has therefore been given a weighting relative to the total student workload. The School thereby acknowledges that the clinical assessment is valid, worthwhile, and requires commitment from the student whilst supporting the competency-based nature of this assessment.  To pass the competency assessment a minimum grade of “assisted” must be obtained for all elements.

Midwifery Skills

·       Care of the woman on admission to the birth environment

·       Care of the woman progressing in labour

·       Reception and care of the newborn

Assessment task 4: Midwifery Portfolio (equivalent to 500 words)

To meet the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia's midwife registration requirements students, upon completion of clinical placement, are required to submit their Midwifery Portfolio.

Assessment task 5: Maintain Continuity of Care experiences with women during pregnancy, birth, and following birth
(10 hours per experience).

Department of Human Services policy and Working with Children Act

In accordance with Department of Human Services policy*, all students are required to undertake a National Police Record Check prior to clinical placements in each calendar year of their course. In accordance with the Working with Children Act 2005**, all students are required to undertake a Working with Children Check at commencement of the course. Students who fail to obtain a Police Record Check and a Working with Children Check prior to the commencement of clinical placement will not be able to undertake clinical placement and this will impede progress in the course. Students may also be required to declare their immunisation status to satisfy the requirements of health organisations where they will be undertaking their clinical learning experience. A health organisation may refuse to accept a student for placement if the student’s immunisation status is not satisfactory to the health organisation.

* Department of Human Services 2007, Service agreement information kit for funded organisations 2006–2009, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne, retrieved 1 July 2007.
** Department of Justice 2007, Working with Children Act 2005, Victoria, Australia retrieved April 2012

Unit Fee Information

Student Contribution Rate*Student Contribution Rate**Fee rate - Domestic Students Fee rate - International students

* Rate for all CSP students, except for those who commenced Education and Nursing units pre 2010
** Rate for CSP students who commenced Education and Nursing units pre 2010
Please note: Unit fees listed do not apply to Deakin Prime students.

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