We give hard working apprentices every possible opportunity to be a valued member of each birth team. Your level of knowledge and experience will be evaluated in the first few weeks after arrival so that we can understand how best to “plug you in” at client appointments and births. Our clientele is amazingly supportive of our apprenticeship program and you will become as involved as possible each step of the way.
Molly is the owner of the birth center and the Senior Midwife and Director of the Apprenticeship Program. Jen Marlow is our senior apprentice and will be graduating by the end of 2015 and coming on as Staff Midwife. Students have the benefit of learning under two different midwives with different areas of expertise and slightly different mixes of clientele.
Molly has attended over 850 births and delivered over 750 babies in the last 18 years. She has worked tirelessly promoting midwifery and helping students achieve their goals. She has trained 31 Midwives who now work in Texas, in other states in this country and even 2 in Canada. Her reputation for taking her part of an apprenticeship relationship seriously is very solid. Jen has attended over 200 births and delivered over 20 under supervision.
We seek students who have great interpersonal skills and want to help themselves, their co-apprentices,the midwives they work with, and the clients. We strive to live and work in an environment of teamwork. Students are surprised to find out how rewarding the hard work is because they are very much included and appreciated.
All the D/FW area midwives know that our apprentices are very well trained and helpful and they occasionally borrow them if they are short-handed for births. As long as our needs are met then we encourage this sort of cross training.
The majority of client appointments occur on 3 full days of the week with sporadic appointments occurring on other days for difficult to schedule clients. The remaining days are used for office and other business aspects of running a midwifery practice. This includes home visits (one prenatally for those that plan a home birth and one around 2 days postpartum for all clients), childbirth preparation class for our clients, staff meetings, multi-faceted office work, improvement projects, business growth projects, regular and seasonal cleaning, needed rest and study time.
The number of appointments for each apprentice varies from week to week but it is more than enough to become well trained. Mandatory staff meetings are scheduled every 4 – 6 weeks or so.
At this time we are averaging 3-4 births a month. Of course some months it is 6-7 and some months it is only 1 or 2. Occasionally we have as many as 8 or 9 births. Babies come when they come! About 30% of our clients choose home birth while the remainder choose to birth at the birth center.
Apprentices are given the opportunity to have clients of their own, under supervision, once they have reached an appropriate level of knowledge and preparation. Our clientele embraces this aspect of our program and really enjoys the discounted fee in exchange for helping a respected apprentice thoroughly complete her training. Clients who are willing to allow a student under supervision to provide primary care receive a $1000 discount and many choose this option, making completion of the often difficult 3rd and 4th phases of the NARM process much easier for students apprenticing at HDMC.
Study time varies from week to week. Apprentices need to have the discipline to chip away at their academic work on their own time at every reasonable opportunity so that they are ready, without stress, for each new level of their academic course.
We expect apprentices to cheerfully be available as needed to ensure we give the best possible care to our clients and the birth center is sparkling clean and functional at all times. Midwifery is a very demanding type of work and apprentices are not sheltered from this fact. They need to come into the training program with a willingness to work hard and learn how to be flexible enough to survive life as a licensed midwife when they are done. It is virtually impossible to have outside activities that are commitments.
Each apprentice earns her keep by working diligently and learning her skills as quickly as possible in order to be more helpful with client care and chores. Dependability is a must! Apprentice duties consist of daily, weekly, and seasonal chores that keep a birth center sparkling clean and organized, a midwifery practice running smoothly, working on special projects that improve the birth center, occasionally running errands for the midwives or business, assisting at appointments and births, and generally being helpful as the need arises.
Chores/work that don’t need the expertise of a staff or senior midwife are the responsibility of the apprentices. Live-in apprentices help with the cleaning of the staff house in addition to the other duties.
The apprentices are responsible for complete birth clean-up after births at the birth center or at a client’s home. When ready they will also be assigned to early labor sitting and extended postpartum client care responsibilities.