According understanding to confirm that they are aware

 

According to the NMC, it is
important that midwives comply with the standards set in the code, ensuring
that they are performing their role in a professional manner; allowing patients
in their upkeep to receive quality focused care. It is an obligatory
expectation of midwives to do this as it plays a crucial part in their
midwifery profession.

 

The NMC framework outlines
that midwives should centre their care and prioritise patients by putting those
who are in need of support first. (NMC Code Guidelines 2015). When doing so,
midwives are to protect those on the receiving end of care, making sure they
are being treated in a specialized way, allowing their dignity and individual
rights to be supported and protected. Midwives are to support patients by
acknowledging their needs, therefore allowing the correct type of supervision
to take place. Acting in the best interest of individuals during all stages of
their care safeguards them and therefore allows them to be listened to, having
their individual concerns focused on.

 

Effective midwifery practice
is also looked upon as midwives should have the ability to communicate to their
patients in a professionalised way, allowing them to receive good quality
evidence based information. (NMC Code Guidelines 2015). This framework governs
midwifery practice as midwives are to communicate in an efficient and
understandable way as this allows service users such as the patients in their
care to understand this new information which has been delivered to them.
Whilst undergoing this process, it is suitable to check the individuals
understanding to confirm that they are aware of the new knowledge they have
been given. Relating this to midwifery practice, this will enable midwives to understand
the needs of their patients in a more in depth way as using different methods
of communication such as verbal/ non-verbal will allow them to do so. (NMC Code
Guidelines 2015).

 

The National Institute for
Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is a part of the NHS and govern
healthcare professionals by providing the correct guidance and advice to better
health care within England (NICE Guidelines: The Manual 2014). This
professional framework governs the midwifery profession as it allows the
standards of treatment and care of patients to be upheld; by abiding by this
framework midwives are able deliver effective care to those being treated. In
reference to midwifery practice, midwives will have the ability to guide
patients on the best routes of treatment on an individual basis. The Data
Protection Act (1998) gives legal rights to individuals who have information
stored of themselves. This therefore covers patients by maintaining their
dignity as those who are working with members of the public are to comply and
abide to keeping information safe and secure. In a health care profession such
as midwifery, patients who are treated and looked after are protected from
misuse of personal information. (DPA 1998).

 

Patients being treated within
healthcare settings such as hospitals will have passed on confidential information
about themselves and is the health care professionals duty to make sure that
only authorised people are able to have access to these stored records;
unauthorised members should not be able to gain access to these and patients
should be informed on why the information is being logged. (Key
Legislation-Dignity In Care 2013).

 

Confidentiality is a core duty
in midwifery practice and requires professionals such as midwives to keep
records and personal patient information private, unless consent has been given
for it to be passed on to another healthcare professional. (Ethics In Medicine
2014). Midwives are to create a trusting environment for their patients by
respecting their privacy. Ones information should not be discussed without
permission and should always be kept out of sight and reach of unauthorised
individuals and members of the public. Patients right to individual privacy is
violated when their records have been accessed by others without permission.

 

Patients who lack mental
capacity may not be able to make inclined decisions for themselves, the Mental
Capacity Act however ensures that these individuals are able to do so about
their own treatment and types of care which they are receiving. The MCA gives
individuals the opportunity to express their own preferences of how they would
like to be cared and treated. If a patient who lacks capacity is unable to do
so, they may allow someone which they trust to make a decision on their behalf.
(Mental Capacity Act 2005). Informed consent also plays a part when it comes to
decision making; midwives are to check that informed consent has been given
before any type of treatment/ care is arranged to take place. If the patient
declines a type of care or treatment offered to them it should be respected, as
each patient has the ability to make their own choices on what they wish to
receive. Ethical principles of care such as autonomy allows patients to
communicate their own decisions with a professional health worker. (The
Underlying Principles of Ethical Patient Care).

 

In relation to midwifery,
patients may decide that they wish not to receive treatments offered to them
and this should be respected as each should have the option to do so. Midwives
should act in the best interest of their patients and should do no harm to
them, this links to the ethical principle of non maleficence. Professionals
should act in appropriate ways which do not inflict evil or cause harm to
others such as patients in a hospital setting. Professionals however should
work in the interest of beneficence which is an action undertaken to advantage
others. (Beneficence vs. Non-maleficence 2008).

 

Professional midwifery
advocate has come into place allowing midwives to be supported through clinical
settings allowing them to improve upon individual skills and professional
revalidation. (PMA Advocating and Educating for Quality Improvement). The PMA
allows midwives to develop their own knowledge and to enhance the quality of
care which women and babies are receiving. By doing this, women will be able to
have a more memorable experience as the quality of care they have received will
be up to standards. Strategies and skills which are learnt along the way will
stick with midwives and will give them the opportunity to reflect on the
support they have given, what they think they have done well and what they may
wish to improve upon for next time if any.

 

Revalidation is a process which
all midwives and nurses are required to follow to maintain their registration
with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. (Revalidation NMC 2018). Revalidation
will facilitate midwives to practise securely and in an operative way which
helps to protect patients. Whilst doing this midwives will have the opportunity
to reflect upon the code and will allow them to notice whether or not they are
working professionally in relation to what is outlined by the NMC. One of the
requirements outlined is that midwives are to write five written reflective
accounts. By doing this, midwives will be able to reflect upon their practice
and will be able to identify areas for improvement allowing them to make minor
adjustments dependant on new pieces of information they may have learned; and
how their practice links in with the code. When doing so they are able to think
about these requirements and whether they have touched upon some of these whilst
in a clinical setting. (Revalidation NMC 2018).

 

Mandatory
training is also a requirement for midwives and allows them to learn new pieces
of information relevant to their role such as precautions they must take,
conflict resolutions etc. Fire safety awareness is one of many topics covered
during mandatory training sessions and is important to be learnt as midwives
are able to know the fire safety precautions of their trust and what they must
do in an event of a fire. (Royal College of Nursing 2018). These skills learnt
at these sessions can reduce risks of the organisation/ trust and can therefore
safeguard other individuals and patients using the services.

 

Personal
development plans are also something which midwives and other health care
professionals complete to help with their individual growth and to encourage
individual achievements. They allow people working in health to do this on
regular occasions and lets them recognise their own set goals and if they have
achieved any of which they have made note of. Personal development plans are
created individually and allows professionals to identify what they wish to
achieve and can encourage life long learning; it will allow individuals to
create goals and methods that can help them to achieve them. (Personal
Development Planning 2015).

 

It
is the role of the midwife to teach, mentor and support women and their
families throughout all stages of their pregnancy; this includes prenatal and
postnatal care. Midwives have a duty in public health to promote healthy
lifestyle choices to ensure that baby is safe and well. Midwives act as an advocate
to women also when informing them about issues and problems which can occur
after childbirth and how they can give their baby the best type of care. Following
on from the role of the midwife, it is also their duty to take responsibility
for their own actions and to keep patients information confidential and secure.
Record keeping is important within the role of the midwife as if any
complications were to arise, documentation would have taken place meaning that
all important and relevant information has been recorded. Without
documentation, if implications were to arise there would be no records stored for
midwives or other professionals to read upon to see what the causes of the
problem may be.

 

Record
keeping is vital in a situation such as hand over as the midwife would need to
communicate effectively to another health care professional; this may be
another midwife or even a nurse. Information about the patient they were taking
care of would need to be communicated efficiently to the second person as they
will need the relevant clinical information about the patient so they know what
care or treatment they are to offer them. Midwives are accountable for their
own actions and therefore must not put themselves in any predicament which can
cause them to get a disciplinary or struck off by the NMC. To be accountable
midwives must have the ability to perform the activity, accept the
responsibility which comes along with doing the activity and should have the
authority to perform such through policies of the trust. (Royal College of
Nursing 2018).

 

In
conclusion to this, it is important for midwives to stay in line with the code as
they should be respectful and helpful towards all their patients. They should
be encouraging patients to make their own individualised decisions about their
care as this will therefore enable them to feel that they are having their
needs listened and adhered to. It is a midwifes duty to take ownership for
their own individual practice and should be honest at all times. By doing so
shows patients that they are being paid close attention to and that their
wellbeing is being looked at as well as the care and treatment they are to receive.
Staying in line with the code can help to benefit a woman in various different
ways and will allow her to feel empowered as she has the ability to feel safe due
to her knowing she is being treated and taken good care of. Prioritising people,
practising effectively, preserving safety and promoting professionalism are all
professional standards which allow patients to be treated in a respectful way.

 

The
quality of care in which a woman receives can also empower her, make her feel valued
and appreciated. Encouraging her self-esteem and boosting her confidence therefore
enables her to tackle life’s many obstacles. By doing so, women will be much more
assertive and inclined as they will therefore know what to expect when being
encountered by professionals such as midwives and will know what to expect in
the type of care which is provided to them. 

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