What Does It Mean to Be a Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner?

[MUSIC PLAYING] My name is Kim Trout,
and I’m a nurse midwife. And I direct the Nurse
Midwifery Program at Georgetown University School
of Nursing and Health Studies. A women’s health
nurse practitioner is an advanced
practice nurse who is educated in many of the same
skills that nurse midwives are. However, the women’s
health nurse practitioner’s role is purely ambulatory,
in that women’s health nurse practitioners do not attend
women in labor and birth. Because their focus is
more on ambulatory care, many women’s health
practitioners will specialize in certain
advanced practice procedures such as ultrasound
or colposcopy. A nurse midwife is an
individual educated in the two disciplines
of nursing and midwifery. And as such, she bring
skills through our education in those disciplines to
care for women, newborns, and their families
throughout the lifespan. A typical day for
a nurse midwife can vary quite a bit,
depending on the location of her practice, her
clinical practice. When I worked in a
small, rural practice in central Pennsylvania,
I had two families where I had delivered
four babies in each of those families. So the women would come
in, by the fourth one, and they’d say, OK, where’s Kim? I was the family midwife. And then to see
the older siblings as they were growing up,
and helping to participate in the experience of seeing
their newborn brother or sister– it’s just
hard to describe in words. You do have an
impact on families. You’re helping them
get started, and you’re doing everything
you can to nourish the development
of those families. So midwives don’t view
pregnancy and childbirth simply as a medical event. It’s a family event. The look on a
mother’s face when she holds her baby outside of
her body for the first time, and meets that baby–
there’s nothing more beautiful in the world. So that’s definitely a true
reward– to be able to witness that moment is really a
holy and sacred thing. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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