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Fifteen USQ students from Tasmania attended a midwifery residential school at USQ Ipswich.

Aspiring midwife Adele Close travelled across four Australian states so she could be at the birth of her first baby.

Her delivery was a little different from most as it was done using the latest birth simulator and life-size infant manikin.

The mother-of-two was one of 15 midwifery students from Tasmania who came to USQ Ipswich to attend a three-day residential school as part of a USQ initiative supported by the Tasmania Department of Health and Human Services (TDHHS).

The program offers Tasmanian nurses the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Midwifery to become registered midwives.

Mrs Close said she was grateful for the USQ distance education program, which combined online study with residential schools and 1320 hours of clinical practice.

“It was always my intention to study midwifery after I graduated nursing so I’m very fortunate to be part of the USQ program,” she said.

“The residential school was definitely the highlight. I not only got the chance to meet everyone in the course and had great exposure to my lecturers, but I also got access to the fantastic facilities at the USQ Midwifery Simulation Centre.”

The residential school gave students the opportunity to gain hands-on clinical experience, from basic antenatal care to birthing a baby and neonatal resuscitation for a newborn baby using high-fidelity simulation equipment.

“All the students were very eager and committed to develop their knowledge and learn new skills while taking part in a number of simulated exercises and clinical scenarios,” Senior Lecturer (Midwifery) Elizabeth Rigg said.

TDHHS Chief Nurse and Midwife Francine Douce said the USQ program was an ideal choice to respond to changes in midwifery education in Tasmania.

“Tasmanian students will study by distance with USQ and complete their clinical experiences in our local maternity services across the state,” she said.

“The students and our maternity service partners are very excited about this new program.”

USQ responded to the nation’s growing midwife shortage, as revealed by the Department of Employment, by launching its Bachelor of Midwifery (Graduate Entry) last year.

As well as offering state-of-the-art simulation facilities for the highest standard in teaching and learning, USQ continues to work hard to strengthen links between students and service partners in order to broaden their exposure to midwifery practice through various clinical placements.

To learn more about studying Midwifery at USQ, visit Study.