BetterBirth Doula and Midwife Training

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NOTE: We have partnered with the Community School of Midwifery in Utah to provide their students with exceptional clinical training and experience. CSM students receive their academics through on-campus education (with the option of distance education). During the course of their academic training, they do several placements with our clinical program. For more information on the Community School of Midwifery, see their website or call 801 882-7484 or e-mail info@TheCommunityMidwife.com. CSM students should keep in mind that BetterBirth will not be providing all clinical experiences required for graduation or NARM certification. Students will still have to obtain experiences with other preceptors. We expect to also have clinical blocks available to non-CSM students. If you are interested, place yourself on our waiting list and we will contact you as space becomes available.

BetterBirth offers high intensity, accelerated programs that will help you become an excellent doula or midwife. Midwife programs are based on the North American Registry of Midwives requirements to obtain the Certified Professional Midwife credential. In addition to the prenatal, labor and delivery, postpartum, and newborn experiences required for NARM, we teach, assess, and sign off skills in the Practical Skills Guide for Midwifery and NARM's Comprehensive Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities Essential for Competent Midwifery Practice Verification Form 201.

We offer two programs through which students may receive training: Workshop Week and the Clinical Program. We also offer CPR (via American Red Cross) and neonatal resuscitation (via the Helping Babies Breathe course of the American Academy of Pediatrics) classes. Our cardiopulmonary and neonatal resuscitation classes are accepted by the State of Utah for licensure as a Direct-Entry Midwife and by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) for the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential. Please direct questions to carrie@betterbirth.com.

Workshop Week

This program is designed for midwifery students who want to take advantage of our amazing Workshop Week to learn and sign off skills, but do not want (or are not able) to stay longer and obtain clinical experiences. It is a jam-packed, 6-day, 8+-hour-a-day week of skills training on the most often-requested and difficult-to-acquire skills for student midwives. Workshop Week remains open to all midwifery students, including CSM and others around the country.

View Workshop Week Classes

After you satisfactorily complete Workshop Week, we can sign off many skills on your NARM Form 201 or Practical Skills Guide. School-specific skills forms may also be signed.

During Workshop Week you and the other students will be practicing skills (including vaginal exams, catheterization, venipuncture, injections, IV placement, etc.) on each other. This is a requirement. We know it's not fun to have a midwifery student practice her first IV or urinary catheter on you. She feels the same way about you practicing on her. But neither of you will master your skills if you don't allow the other to practice. It is also important to understand how clients feel when you are performing skills on them. You really get a good sense of it when it's your turn to receive those procedures. If you are unwilling to practice on other students or have them practice on you, please e-mail us at carrie@betterbirth.com before you apply.

We have limited housing available at the training site on a first-come first-served basis for Workshop Week students including kitchen facilities. Cook your own meals and save! There is no need to rent a car (unless you want to or are staying off-site). If you are flying in, we recommend you contact Express Shuttle for transportation to and from the airport.

Workshop Week Dates

Planned Workshop Week sessions for 2014 and 2015 are as follows:

October 26-November 1, 2014

November 16-22, 2014

January 4-10, 2015

February 1-7, 2015

February 22-28, 2015

March 22-28, 2015

April 12-18, 2015

May 10-16, 2015

May 31-June 6, 2015

June 27-July 3, 2015 Note: Days are shifted for holiday.

July 19-25, 2015

August 16-22, 2015

September 6-12, 2015

October 4-10, 2015

October 25-31, 2015

November 15-21, 2015

December 13-19, 2015

We accept a maximum of 6 students for any Workshop Week. See our Calendar to see if there is space available on the dates you intend to come, and use our Application to apply. For cost and refund information, see our Tuition page.

Clinical Program

In our clinical program you will gain experience in both the home and birth center settings under the tutelage of several outstanding midwives. We practice according to the midwives model of care, and our goal is to make every birth a great experience for the family involved. We express our gratitude to the families who are willing to help our students by keeping their quality of care our number one priority.

We midwife clinical placements to enable students to practice the skills they have learned and to obtain clinical experiences required for DONA, CAPPA and NARM certification. During placements we try to get you signed off on as many skills as possible. There are three placement tracks: Doula, Midwife Assistant Under Supervision (AUS) and Midwife Primary Under Supervision (PUS). Students in the Doula Track attend births as a doula of clients who have chosen to have that service. Students in the Midwife Assistant Under Supervision (AUS) Track attend clinic and assist with prenatal and postpartum visits, and assist at births in both of our birth centers as well as at home. Students in the Midwife Primary Under Supervision (PUS) Track attend clinic where they assist with and lead prenatal and postpartum visits, and assist at and manage births in our birth centers as well as at home. About half of our deliveries are for clients on our midwife program, and primary track students should not expect to serve in the role of primary at these births (or at their associated prenatal and postpartum visits), although they are expected to assist even if they don't "need" the experience for NARM. Our primary track students serve as primary under supervision for the other half of our clients who have signed up for our student program. (We reserve the right to change primary assignments depending on our client load and the qualifications of the students.) Midwifery Track (not Doula Track) students must have completed a Workshop Week prior to their placement.

The number of clients who deliver with us varies from month to month. In addition, the number of clients who transfer for one reason or another also varies. Therefore, we do not guarantee any particular number or types of experiences during your stay, but we will try very hard to get you what you need. You are welcome to contact our Student Director (carrie@betterbirth.com) to find out how many clients are due during your placement.

Limited housing is available at our Orem location on a first-come first-served basis for students only (not for families).

See our Calendar for the dates on which clinical placements and workshop weeks are scheduled, and use our Midwifery Track Application or Doula Track Application to apply. For cost and refund information, see our Tuition page.

Things You Should Know

Keeping Up With The Schedule: Our program is intensive, and designed to get you skills and experiences as quickly as possible while making you an outstanding doula or midwife. You must be prepared to work very hard while you are here, and are expected to attend every clinic schedule and birth to which you are called. We reserve the right to not sign off skills, workshops, or experiences we do not feel you have satisfactorily completed. Once your clinical placement begins, you will be on-call 24/7 until it ends.

Bringing Families: If you are coming from out of town and intend to bring your family with you during your clinical placement, be aware that you must arrange housing for them. We can help you, but ultimately finding and paying for it are your responsibility. We are happy to recommend the following hotels in the area:

We will expect you to make your program responsibilities top priority while you are here.

Personal Transportation: If you enroll in our Clinical Program, you must have a car at your disposal at all times during your placement. You can expect to travel an average of 75 miles per day, although this can vary.

Coming Back: You must attend a Workshop Week prior to your first midwifery placement (assistant or primary) at BetterBirth. If you choose to return for more clinical experience, you need not repeat Workshop Week.

Do we break for holidays? We do not hold Workshop Week over major U.S. holidays, but clinical terms are held regardless of holidays. While we do not generally see clients for routine visits on holidays, babies are born every day of the year. Because of the tight nature of our schedules, postponements for holidays would negatively affect other placements and result in the loss of important birth experiences for you. Be sure to check the calendar carefully before applying for a placement that occurs over holidays that you must be absent for, and do not apply for that placement.