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DkIT Hosts NMBI National Student Midwife Debate 2017

National Student Midwife Debate forms part of Midwives Week and coincides with DkIT’s 10 year anniversary of its Midwifery Programmes.

On Thursday 4 May 2017, the Section of Midwifery at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) hosted the National Student Midwife Debate which is organised annually by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI). More than 100 delegates from NMBI, the Department of Health, the HSE and key stakeholders associated with Midwifery Education took part in the debate which was organised as part of Midwives Week 2017, a weeklong initiative established by the International Confederation of Midwives to celebrate and recognise the work of midwives and midwife-led care.

The motion for this year’s debate was “Management of Third Stage of Labour; should it be women’s choice or institutionally determined?” and it included student representation from Ireland’s six Higher Education Institutes which provide midwifery education, including Dundalk Institute of Technology, University of Limerick, University of Dublin, Trinity College, National University of Ireland, Galway, University College Dublin and University College Cork. The debate was chaired by Broadcaster and Columnist, Sarah Carey and included a key note address from Dr. Susan Kent, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer in the Department of Health. Other speakers on the day included President of NMBI, Essene Cassidy and Dawn Johnston, Director of Midwifery in NMBI

Kate Finnamore, a Higher Diploma in Midwifery student at DkIT represented the Institute during the debate, commenting on the event she said “It was such a pleasure to represent DkIT during the national debate. While nervous at first, the discussion became pretty lively which was very exciting. Both teams were well prepared and provided strong, evidence-based arguments. The debate made me feel proud to study to be a student midwife and it was great to see other students around the country feel the same passion about the important role of the midwife.”

Speaking at the event, Head of School of Health and Science at DkIT, Dr. Edel Healy said “This is the first time that the National Student Midwifery Debate has been held outside Dublin and as the only Institute of Technology in the country that provides Midwifery Education, we are delighted to support NMBI in bringing the national debate to the North East. Not only is it a valuable learning experience for our existing students but the debate and the Midwives Week initiative shed an important light on the valuable work of midwives in Ireland and abroad. I would like to thank our clinical partners, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Cavan General Hospital and Letterkenny University Hospital. The part sponsorship by Cardiac Services of the event is acknowledged.

Also speaking at the event, Head of Midwifery Section at DkIT Dr. Kathleen Nallen, said “It has been a pleasure to once again work with NMBI in supporting the Midwives Week initiative which this year explores the theme "Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners for Life!". Midwives continue to provide a vital service in healthcare today and highly skilled graduates remain in extremely high demand. This year at DkIT we are thrilled to celebrate 10 years of the BSc, (Hons) in Midwifery Programme and the Higher Diploma in Midwifery Programme and we are more passionate than ever about raising awareness about the crucial role of the midwife and promoting it as a rewarding and exciting career pathway.”

To celebrate the event and DkIT’s 10 Year Anniversary, Susan Kent, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Women's health, Child Health and Welfare and Primary Care Services in the Department of Health cut the celebratory cake especially commissioned for the International Day of the Midwife.

To find out more about the variety of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Studies Programmes on offer at DkIT, please visit https://www.dkit.ie/nursing-midwifery-health-studies or contact myles.hackett@dkit.ie / kathleen.nallen@dkit.ie.