Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Nursing and Midwifery
OfferedGippsland First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Maureen Miles


This unit focuses on the interplay between the socio-political issues that pervade the clinical arena of midwifery. These include for example how economic and class factors impact on vulnerable populations who are pregnant or giving birth. It facilitates the student to a greater understanding of vulnerability in childbearing women.
The unit also includes issues such as violence within the family, child abuse, sexual assault drug abuse and associated pathologies. The special needs of Indigenous women and their families will be addressed. Additionally, the birthing needs of refugees and asylum seekers and their families will be explored. The emphasis of the unit will be grounded in the philosophy of adult learning encouraging the student to be self-directed in the identification of their learning needs.


On completion of this unit, it is expected that the student will be able to:

  1. identify common vulnerabilities within society and how these impact on childbearing women
  2. develop a range of problem solving, decision-making and time management strategies that enhance the organisation of clinical midwifery care to vulnerable groups of childbearing women;
  3. incorporate and evaluate ethically and culturally relevant midwifery interventions for vulnerable women across the birthing journey including cultural identity and racism;
  4. critically reflect on their own actions in the professional partnership role with vulnerable women and on the nature of midwifery practice in relation to clients' health situations;
  5. develop strategies of leadership, management, teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration in the provision of quality midwifery care when being with vulnerable women, and
  6. apply principles of adult learning to identify their specific learning needs.


1. Poster and abstract and presentation that address a socio-political issue that influences childbearing women, families and midwifery practice. 60%
2. Reflective essay on specific vulnerabilities of the student's choice, that affect childbearing women and their families 20% (Objectives 1,2,4).
3. Critical analysis of a contemporary journal article that addresses socio-political issues of vulnerability in midwifery practice 20% (Objectives 1,2,3,4,5).
4. Clinical Practice (Clinical Hurdles) Pass/Fail

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

116 hours total study

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study