Friday, May 21, 2010

MGH midwives: An international perspective

Exchanging ideas: From left, Dana Cvrk, CNM, MS, MGH midwife; Xinrong; and Armstrong on Blake 14 /p>

While the International Day of Midwives was celebrated May 5, midwives at the MGH maintain an international perspective year-round. The MGH Midwifery Service recently hosted two colleagues from abroad, and several midwives are providing care and education in Haiti through the support of MGH Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Zhang Xinrong, RN, RM, a senior staff nurse from Kandang Kerbau Women's and Children's Hospital in Singapore, came to the MGH on behalf of the hospital in February. She was specifically interested in learning how midwifery fits into the overall health care system and how U.S. clinicians differentiate high- and low-risk cases. Xinrong observed midwives at work on Blake 14, Yawkey 4 and at the Revere HealthCare Center.

"The opportunity to have an international visitor spend time on our unit allows us to step out of our own practice and share ideas across cultures, and in doing so, enhance our practice," says MGH midwife Anne-Marie Armstrong, CNM, RN, MSN, who is originally from England.

Estelle de Prost Lignon, CNM, a midwife from France who is living in Boston while her husband completes a research fellowship at the MGH, observed the midwives practice at the MGH in March. She noted several differences between the scope of care offered by midwives in the United States and in France and shared her findings with MGH staff.

In addition to hosting the international visitors, several MGH midwives have been providing care and training nurses in Haiti. Angela Ferrari, CNM, MS, was the first MGH midwife deployed to Haiti April 5 through 18 with Project HOPE. She estimates she assisted with approximately 20 births, but her focus was mostly on educating her Haitian collegaues. Amy Kogut, CNM, MSN, is currently in Haiti assisting with medical care. She returns May 23.

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