Purpose of Skill Sessions:
Skill sessions serve two main purposes. The first is to give the students an opportunity to be together and learn together, developing as a team and building an environment of unity. Unity is first built with the students deepening their relationship with the Lord Jesus. Discipleship is the emphasis with tools such as memorizing and studying the Word being employed in their personal life. At the same time, God’s desire is to see His children walking in unity and to that end, the class will follow a Bible reading schedule and will memorize Scripture together. Worship seems to be one of the primary things God uses to build unity and a period of Praise and Worship is included a couple times each session.
Babies and families are at the very heart of God. It is no surprise how hard the enemy attacks birthing. When it comes to Christian midwives, historically there has been a lack of unity. Christians are easily divided, mainly because of a lack of a deep and abiding relationship with the Lord Jesus. When doctrines take the place of relationship, Christians are left knowing their doctrine but not knowing their Lord.
(For further reference on this subject, please see this link: http://www.angelfire.com/nt/theology/1cr01-10.html. While the author is not personally known, this piece is succinct in addressing this issue.)
We do not know what medical systems will look like in the near future, or how severe the attack on families will be. Part of CHAM’s long-term vision is to see birthing teams across the country working together and seeking God’s wisdom for each birth. This cannot be done unless each person of the team is able to take her focus off herself, steadfastly look to the Lord, purpose to walk in unity with her team, and provide the best birthing environment for each couple she serves. Some might also term this professionalism. Allowing oneself to follow God as a disciple, building a deep relationship with Him, and learning to walk in His unity are the most important skills for a CHAM student to learn and possess.
The second purpose is to learn and develop the skills necessary to become a competent midwife. Students will study through the month and these lessons will be reviewed and expanded upon during the meetings; however, the focus of these sessions will be to learn and hone necessary skills. Students will also have an opportunity to be involved in prenatal labs and classes given to the public, which will be scheduled in conjunction with the skills meetings.
Skill sessions are held monthly from Wednesday – Friday, 9:00AM – 5:00PM. Saturday may be added to the schedule depending on the classes being covered and where the skill session is being held. A typical day looks like this:
9:00-10:00 Praise and Worship, Testimonies, and Prayer
10:00-11:00 Bible Study
11:00-NOON Review of courses and go over tests
1:00-2:00- Whole food Principles-Lipids
2:00-3:00- Midwife’s Assisting (Working as a Team)
3:00-5:00- Skills: BP Respirations and using Stethoscope
In the first year, beginning skills are taught within the Midwife’s Assistant Course. These will range from donning gloves to learning how to perform Fetal Heart Tones to venipuncture. Students are not allowed to start with a preceptor until they go through this training. Most preceptors require this training as well as being certified in both CPR and NRP (Newborn Resuscitation Program).
The first semester serves to orientate students to the program and learn to work within parameters. It also serves to train the students for their preceptors. Students can go to births at this time as Observes. The North America Registry of Midwives (NARM) divides the attending of births into three categories. The first is observes and 10 are required to move on to the next category. An Observe can go to a birth with the purpose of simply observing; she is not taking part in the birth or working under a preceptor at this point and just needs a signature to verify that she was present. The next category is Assists and 20 births are required here. For the final category, Primary, 20 births are required. The student will be under the direction of a preceptor but she is primarily making the decisions for these births.
A first-year student will also take part in Doula training in the fall semester.
The second-year skills are considered Intermediate skills. Students will learn skills relating to normal birth, newborn care, and postpartum care. These skills are also learned in the Midwifery (MDWF) courses.
Third-year students will learn Advanced skills, again based on the MDWF courses. These range from IV’s to Suturing to medications. These courses will be taught by instructors and CPM’s who are brought in to teach.
Courses taught outside the school are: CPR, NRP, and CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor). Other midwifery groups will host seminars and CHAM students may choose to attend these optional events.
There are topics and workshops that are best experienced and learned together. These will be taught along with the skills at the monthly sessions. Prenatal labs will be provided to enhance the skills with experience.
Finally, students will participate in classes given to the community. Subjects covered will include Childbirth Classes, Fertility, Nutrition, etc. These will be offered from the school regularly to serve the community and to build students’ teaching and public speaking abilities. These classes will be scheduled periodically on Saturdays.