Duties of a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)

A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) is a licensed health care practitioner trained as both a nurse and midwife, and certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Normally, the CNM has a master’s degree in nursing. However, licensing requirements vary from state to state.

Midwives provide an alternative approach to health care for women, while still working within the established framework of medical science. Midwives can be primary care providers. Typically they provide more personalized care than can be expected from a primary care MD or specialist MD. They approach puberty, birth, and menopause as normal aspects of a woman’s life rather than as medical emergencies that need to be cured or repaired. They often emphasize counseling and education over medical intervention.

CNMs are primary healthcare providers for women of childbearing age. They may perform routine annual gynecological exams. They also perform family planning services and preconception care. Additionally, CNMs may provide counseling in health maintenance and disease prevention, and even menopausal management.

The personalized approach provided by midwives may be preferable in the case of adolescent health care. CNMs, as part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team, help guide teenagers toward healthy behaviors and lifelong positive lifestyle choices, supplementing parental influence, especially where the subject matter may seem too awkward or delicate for the teenager to discuss with parents.

The primary focus of midwifery is expectant women, and CNMs provide a range of clinical services for pregnant women, new mothers and newborns. They manage labor and deliver infants. CNMs are involved in almost 8 percent of births in the United States and 96 percent of these births are in hospitals.

Midwives emphasize natural childbirth as much as possible. Typically, midwives care for patients in a private and comfortable birthing center, or even in the comfort of the patient’s own home. Additionally, they are often part of hospital labor and delivery teams. A patient may choose to utilize the services of a midwife whether they intend to give birth at home, in a birthing center, or a hospital.

In addition to their emphasis on natural childbirth, midwives are often preferred by expectant mothers because of the lower costs, including lower maternity care costs, the availability of payment plans and sliding-scale fees, all while accepting most health insurance plans. While the details of CNM licensing may vary from state to state, they can prescribe medication in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Midwifery is an appropriate choice for low-risk pregnancies, which constitute 60 to 80 percent of pregnancies. The other 20 to 40 percent could potentially have complications, and may require the intervention of an MD. Since it is not always clear when a pregnancy may involve complications, midwives routinely consult with obstetricians, perinatologists and other specialist MDs, and will refer patients to the appropriate MDs should complications arise.

With their medical as well as counseling training, CNMs provide for both the routine medical and emotional needs of women patients, and can refer patients to qualified specialists for matters beyond the scope of their expertise.

The Rewards of a Career in Nursing

Ask just about any nurse and they willl tell you they find their job to be quite satisfying. Most nurses; even those who routinely work double shifts and overtime due to staff shortages, are really quite happy with their jobs. There are many rewards to being a nurse… emotional and otherwise.

The job rewards begin almost before a nurse even starts working, in many cases. There is a nationwide nursing shortage, and hospitals and doctor offices all across the country are in need of good nurses. New nurses can do some searching and choose whatever job is best for them, rather than resorting to taking whatever job is available. They can also choose among jobs in nursing homes, dentist offices, and other medical establishments. The nurses have the pick of the market, and that is quite nice.

This means that nurses can often negotiate for the best job terms. Some job positions offer recruitment bonuses such as tuition repayment assistance, daycare assistance, and relocation assistance. Others offer cash bonuses of anywhere from $2,000 up to $20,000. Any of these types of perks make for a very nice way to start a new job!

Of course, the bonuses and perks aren’t the reason why these people decided to become nurses in the first place, though. People decide to become nurses because they want to help other people, and if you think about it, nurses are really the ones who are there to help people more often than many doctors. A nurse is the one who takes a person back to a doctor’s office examination room, and she is also the one who takes any preliminary information about the patient’s medical history and problems. They take the patient’s blood pressure and temperature and writes down all information on the patient’s chart. A nurse is vital to the operation of absolutely any doctor’s office.

That right there is the main reason why so many people decide to devote their lives to nursing; they want to make a difference in people’s lives. They certainly do that in any doctor’s office or medical establishment. If any patient thinks back to their last visit to a hospital, chances are they will remember that they spent more time conversing with the nurses than with a doctor. Without nurses, patients in hospitals would never receive the care they need.

The rewards of nursing are many. Yes, the hours are long. Yes, the job is difficult and demanding. However, there aren’t many jobs that give you as much inner satisfaction as nursing can. With a nursing career, a person can explore a variety of different job possibilities, without having to earn a different degree. Job security is nearly guaranteed, and job advancement possibilities are almost without limit. Perhaps the best reward of all is the people. Nursing gives you a chance to help all types of people through all types of tough life situations. You can make a difference in people’s lives, and you can be a vital member of a team. The world of nursing is filled with rewards.