Doctor of Midwifery
What did you do before you started your course?
I was a Lactation Consultant for 10 years, however, I decided not to recertify because I was half way through my Masters course at the time.
What position do you currently hold and where?
Clinical Midwifery Consultant, Maternity Services, Liverpool Hospital, Sydney South West Area Health Service.
What motivated you to undertake a research program?
I have always been interested in learning about how to do research and enjoyed the research subjects in my tertiary studies. I didn’t know enough to be able to develop a research project by myself. I wanted to learn the language of research and talk with other people who were interested in research. The university where I had completed my Masters degree did not have a Masters Honours program and when I had enquired about further study, no one provided any suggestions or advice. I knew I wanted to do further study but I was not sure what direction to take. In 2005 I attended a small research workshop at an International Midwifery Conference in Queensland. At the workshop people were encouraged to describe their ideas about clinical practice issues or problems they had identified, and these topics were discussed within this forum. A person approached me just after the workshop finished and said she had been interested in the topic I had talked about in the workshop. She asked if I had thought about enrolling in a Doctor of Midwifery program.
Why did you choose UTS?
The Professors and other staff from the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health were so supportive and helpful when I enquired about postgraduate studies. They guided me through the application process to enrol in the Doctor of Midwifery programme and were always there if I needed advice. The Doctor of Midwifery program focuses on research in clinical practice and this is what I wanted to do.
What have you gained from your studies?
I am developing research skills and enjoying learning the language of research. When Midwives find out that I am doing this degree I find that it is a great opportunity to discuss their thoughts on further education or research topics they are interested in pursuing.
What is your research topic?
Full title: Midwifery clinical practice interventions and perineal trauma in Asian women experiencing spontaneous vaginal birth. Research question: "What clinical practices are used by midwives to minimise perineal trauma for Asian women, during the second stage of normal labour and spontaneous birth?"
What is it like to be a research student at UTS?
Participating in the postgraduate research program at the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health has been (and still is) a fantastic personal experience. I have learnt a lot from my supervisors - they are always there for me and are a tremendous support. It took me some time to understand what Supervisors were all about and how the system works. I found the whole experience quite challenging at times but the second weekly student meetings at the Faculty were really helpful. I got to know the other students and Professors within the Faculty at these meetings. We talk about anything students are working on (related to their research) and need to clarify, plus topics the Professors think we need to learn about. They are such a supportive group of people. The experience of being enrolled in the Doctor of Midwifery program has been described to me as "A journey, which can be like a roller-coaster at times" and I agree with this, however, the supports are there when you need them.
Is there any advice you would give to students who are studying this degree?
Give yourself time to get to know the people and become accustomed to the language and the system. Don't worry about the technology - you will develop these skills. Expect this "journey" to take some time, and expect to enjoy yourself and meet some wonderful people.
What are your professional plans for the future?
To finish this degree and then to do more research in Midwifery.