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Jan 12th, 2011 Training

I’m preparing to drive to the birth center for some clinical days.  It is a four hour drive and I hate to lose the time.  During the semester, I read my text books into my phone or ipod voice recorder and listen to the chapters several times.  But four straight hours of re-reading chapters can get boring.  So I also get some lectures from iTunes U.

If you know me at all, you know my overall dislike for iTunes. But iTunes U is one part that prevents me from ditching my iPod. I will warn you, to gain access to it you will need to download iTunes, and iTunes will then try to control you music and unless you tell it not to it will copy all your music into a file organized by iTunes (this can be a problem if you have a large music collection and not a large amount of free space on your hard drive).

So what is iTunes U?  It is a collection of free lectures from universities around the world. The lectures are on a wide variety of subjects and can be anything from presentations from conferences to interviews for the university radio to additional materials for a class.  The sound quality is not always good, and sometimes what sounds like a great lecture turns out to be just a three minute blurb.

You can search midwife or midwifery, but there are slim pickings.  Instead I find lectures from medical schools on topics of interest to me.  It is in public health were you will find a large collection of interest to most birth professionals.  This trip I’ll be listening to selections from a lecture series called Health and Culture from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.  Why?  It deals with cultural competence – an important concept in nursing.  Cultural competence means you provide care in a way that is appropriate to the client.

You can find wide amounts of information valuable to any wannabe midwife.  Why not learn more about writing a business plan or running a small business? Listen to lectures about exercise and nutrition, or even how to cook, to get new ideas to share.  Explore a new language to better serve clients from other cultures.  Discover classic art or poetry treasures that can be used in relaxation for labor. The possibilities are limitless.

Just another way to expand your midwifery knowledge.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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