Working towards my CPM
It's hard for many midwifery students to decide which route to take when working towards that midwifery goal, whether it's school, certification, or not.
I was not sure in the beginning if I wanted to pursue the CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) certification with NARM (National Association of Registered Midwives) or not. There are many routes out there: DEM (direct entry), lay midwife, licensed midwife (by the state), CM, and CNM. Now that I'm much further into my studies, and with my overseas situation, the CPM is necessary. For one, if I have any chance of working in this country legally some day, I have to have national certification from my home country. Also, some day, we will be returning to the USA. The CPM credential or the NARM exam is what is necessary for licensure in most states, if recognized by that state.
I like that the CPM shows a decent standard for midwifery studies. Do I think that the minimum CPM requirements are enough (as in # of required births, newborn exams, etc)? NO. This is why I will continue to do midwifery trips and training after I get my CPM. Do I think that the CPM should be mandatory for all states (as in the Big Push for Midwives)? I'm not sure.
For my CPM, I'm doing the PEP process, which is essentially, a portfolio. It documents all births, prenatal exams, postpartum exams, newborn exams, etc. where I acted as assistant or primary midwife. I'm almost done with these. I also have to demonstrate clinical skills. I am done with most of these, except for the well-woman care (such as pap smears, etc). I also have to document my education (doing that through AAMI), my protocols, and much more. The more I do this, the more attainable it seems to be. I am so thankful for a preceptor that is willing to work with my unique situation. I'm also making connections with other CPMs around the world that are willing to help me out.
When I posted my goals 2 months ago, those were conservative estimates. But after going through all of my paperwork, I'm almost sure that a midwifery trip this winter and a longer trip next summer (2011) will fulfill ALL of my clinical experiences/births. Which means I technically could sit for the NARM exam in Feb. of 2012. Why the rush? NARM is revamping their overseas experience requirements and may eventually not allow primary births at overseas sites to count towards CPM certification. This is scary to me because ALL of my experience is overseas, where I live. Hopefully they will have exceptions for students like me.
In a week I will be leaving for the USA to attend the Trust Birth Conference in California. It is expensive for me to do this and takes me away from my family for a week. It is also a huge advantage for me as student. I will take the 2 days of pre-conference midwifery skills labs. And then 3 days of classes that I've chosen to fill in the gaps of my education. I will also meet many midwives that will be those contacts I'll need over the next few years. I'm excited, nervous, and can't wait to learn learn learn, and meet other students I've only known online for a years.
So this is the "how will I do this midwifery thing" update. In some ways it's easier from overseas and in other ways much harder.