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How to Become a Midwife in South Africa

Are you planning to be a midwife and you are looking for how to become a midwife in South Africa.

Midwives are nurses who specialize in the care of pregnant patients and the delivery of babies. In the past, midwives in South Africa worked largely under the supervision of gynaecologists, but the country’s shortage of qualified medical personnel has resulted in a move towards greater independence and authority in the case of healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries.

Functions of Midwives in South Africa?

The functions of midwives in South Africa include the following;

  1. Midwives are involved in the support and care of pregnant women, their babies and their families
  2. They monitor and deliver babies
  3. They provide antenatal and postnatal advice to pregnant women
  4. They work as part of a team of professional and medical staff that includes doctors, social workers and health visitors.
  5. They refer patients to gynaecologists when problems in pregnancy are diagnosed.
  6. If complications arise during delivery, midwives have to administer stipulated emergency measures and arrange for immediate attention by a gynaecologist.
  7. Midwives examine and monitor patients during pregnancy and advise them in respect of diet and health practices.
  8. Midwives in South Africa carry out screening tests, take patient samples and vital signs.
  9. They provide information, emotional or psychological support and reassurance to women and their partners.
  10. They stay with patients during labour to reassure them, monitor them, assist them and administer medication.
  11. They monitor the foetus during labour, assist with the delivery of the baby, conduct postpartum (the first 6 weeks following the delivery) examinations and are involved in the general treatment of mothers and babies.
  12. They have to help parents to cope with miscarriage, termination, stillbrith and neonatal death.
  13. Other tasks are writing records, assessing care requirements or writing care plans, and training student midwives.
  14. Midwives call on mothers after delivery to conduct examinations and instruct them on how to care for themselves and their new babies.

What are the skills needed as a Midwife?

Skills that midwives need are the ability to deal with emotionally charged situations, excellent team-working skills, interpersonal and communication skills, strong observational skills and an interest in the process of pregnancy and birth.

Personal requirements needed as a Midwife?

  1. patience and tact
  2. common sense and being able to make practical decisions quickly
  3. responsible and inspire confidence
  4. dedicated
  5. sense of humour
  6. positive attitude
  7. able to motivate and relax mothers-to-be facing labour
  8. able to work comfortably with different personalities who are under stress
  9. mental stamina to cope with the responsibility of having to make “life-and-death” decisions

Midwife salary in South Africa per month?

A person working as a Nurse Midwife in South Africa typically earns around 30,900 ZAR per month. Salaries range from 15,200 ZAR (lowest) to 48,300 ZAR (highest).

This is the average monthly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Nurse Midwife salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location.

We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down Nurse Midwife salaries by education level in order to make a comparison.

When the education level is Bachelor’s Degree, the average salary of a Nurse Midwife is 22,400 ZAR per month.

While someone with a Master’s Degree gets a salary of 36,000 ZAR per month, 60% more than someone having a Bachelor’s Degree degree.

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in South Africa is 180 ZAR. This means that the average Nurse Midwife in South Africa earns approximately 180 ZAR for every worked hour.

The average salary for Nurse Midwife is 3% more than that of Nursing. Also, Nursing salaries are 35% less than those of Health and Medical.

Nurse Midwife(s) in South Africa are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 9% every 20 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 18 months.

Also Read: The salary of a registered Nurse in South Africa

How to Become a Midwife in South Africa?

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

However, each institution has its own entry requirements.

To qualify as a midwife, one must obtain basic nursing training, as well as an advanced diploma in Midwifery. Nursing training can be undertaken at UKZN, Wits, NWU, UJ, US, UL, UWC, UCT, UZ, UV, UNISA. Midwifery is available at UCT and UNISA. Nursing is also offered at CPUT, TUT and Community Nursing at VUT.

In Nursing college, training is practical and theoretical. Training at the nursing college is done in collaboration with a university. Clinical or practical training is done at accredited training hospitals. The duration of the course is 4 years.

In advanced training, qualified nurses may study further in specialised fields such as Paediatric Nursing Science, Midwifery, Orthopaedic Nursing Science, Intensive Care Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Geriatric Nursing Science, etc.

Qualified nurses and midwives have to register with the South African Nursing Council.
Employment

  • state and private hospitals
  • clinics and nursing homes
  • private practice as a nurse specialising in midwifery

Further Information

The South African Nursing Council (SANC)
Cecilia Makiwane Building
602 Pretorius Street
Arcadia, Pretoria, 0083
Tel: (012) 420-1000
www.sanc.co.za

Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA
605 Stanza Bopape Street
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 343-2315/6/7
www.denosa.org.za

How to get started as a Nurse Midwife in South Africa?

  • do voluntary work for a health care facility
  • try to obtain part-time or voluntary work at a hospital or other health care facility
  • do first aid courses with such organisations as St John’s Ambulance
  • make an appointment to speak to a midwife about this type of career

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