The unit builds on the content of the Midwifery Care 1 and Pathophysiology and Medication in Midwifery units to extend students' knowledge of the more complex midwifery care practices that women may experience during the intra- and post-partum periods. Childbearing complications and their impact on the woman's and her baby's health are examined. The implications of health complications are also explored in relation to midwifery decision-making and scope of practice. Students will analyse and investigate the collaborative role of the midwife and referral pathway when women are identified as experiencing higher-risk health issues. Medication management, the use of technology and birthing interventions and their impact on women's and babies' health are also explored. Specifically, the content will cover unexpected complications and deviations during women's labour and birth, and the postpartum period, with an emphasis on students assessing and responding appropriately to health risks.

Unit details

VU Sunshine Clinical School
Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HMB2001 - Pathophysiology and Medications for Midwives and

HMB2002 - Midwifery Care 1: Developing Midwifery Practice and

HMB2003 - Midwifery Practice Experience 1

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply pathophysiological knowledge to women experiencing complications during pregnancy, labour and birth, and the postpartum period;  
  2. Analyse specific complex midwifery conditions that affect women's and babies' health during labour, birth and the postpartum period;  
  3. Critically examine the use of interventions, technology and obstetric procedures in maternity care;  
  4. Recognise and respond to obstetric emergencies utilising time critical care strategies; and  
  5. Reflect on personal self and building resilience when faced with challenging complex care scenarios as midwifery students and the future practice role.  


The assessment tasks align with the learning outcomes and graduate capabilities. In the first assessment, students submit a written reflection exploring a self-identified practice challenge. The aim is to facilitate reflective practice and help build resilience in responding to professional role challenges. For the second assessment, students will be tested on their clinical knowledge with a short answer case study question format. For the third assessment, students will be required to actively participate in a group skills test managing an obstetric emergency situation which includes a written reflection post-skills test. The last assessment is an online medication competency test in which students are required to achieve 100%.
Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Reflection on a midwifery practice challenge of concern in women’s care (750 words) 20%
Test Short answer case study questions (1.5 hours) 40%
Practicum Group skills test of 4 students to manage an obstetric emergency (1500 words equivalent) 40%
Test Medication administration – open book self-directed learning (hurdle) 0%
To gain an overall pass in this unit, students must attend 85% of all practical laboratories and clinical simulation for essential skill development as per ANMAC expectations and are required to complete and/or submit all assessments. Attendance requirements for midwifery skills laboratories and simulated-learning laboratories are integral to safe midwifery practice and preparing students for midwifery practice experience. Any absences and non-submissions must be supported with documentation to the unit convenor. To pass this unit, students must also achieve 100% for the medication administration test (hurdle). Accuracy in medication administration is an absolute requirement for safe midwifery practice. Students have 2 attempts at the medication administration test. Weighting will be awarded based on the student's final attempt.

Required reading

Midwifery: Preparation for practice 4th ed.
Pairman, S., Tracy, S. K., Dahlen, H. G., Lesley Dixon, L. (2019)
Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier.

Skills for midwifery practice AU & NZ ed.
De-Vitry Smith, S., Bayes, S., Johnson, R., & Taylor, W. (2019)
Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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