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by Kasstg Kasstg (New) New

Are Nurse Midwives always on call? I know that the majority of them are but i was just wondering because being a mom i would like stability in knowing my exact hours and im not sure being on call would be the most desirable career for a mom.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

It depends entirely on the practice. If you have a private practice and work alone, yes. I know one homebirth CNM who does that. That would be a miserable existence, IMO. Most midwives work in a practice with other midwives, and call is shared, so you may be on call just a few days a week. And then some practices have no call, and when they do a hospital shift, they're there for an entire shift. I work for a midwifery practice like that - there are about 25 midwives, and they all work 1-3 twelve-hour shifts in the hospital each week, but no call.

cayenne06, MSN, CNM

Specializes in Reproductive & Public Health. Has 10 years experience.

Yes, it is highly dependent on your practice. I know midwives who are on call 24/7 for ~7-10 births a month. When I did hospital births, I usually did 1-2 24 hour shifts a week. Back when I was a homebirth midwife, I was on call probably 72+ hours a week. And of course clinic hours on top of that.

Now I am a CNM at Planned Parenthood, and I work a relatively "normal" M-F schedule. And I love, love love my job

It depends entirely on the practice. If you have a private practice and work alone, yes. I know one homebirth CNM who does that. That would be a miserable existence, IMO. Most midwives work in a practice with other midwives, and call is shared, so you may be on call just a few days a week. And then some practices have no call, and when they do a hospital shift, they're there for an entire shift. I work for a midwifery practice like that - there are about 25 midwives, and they all work 1-3 twelve-hour shifts in the hospital each week, but no call.

i would hate to go off topic, but would you mind sharing your experiences working for a midwifery practice? its something i really hope to get into after graduation... i really enjoyed my l&d rotation, but I feel in the hospital its far too clinical, the way they treat pregnancy, at least in this location. i don't want to highjack this thread, or if you want to create a new one lol.. like what kind of work do you do, training, education, hours, etc. thanks!

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

I'd think that no-call positions are not the norm in midwifery...I mean, women go into labor 24/7/365 and CNMs don't do convenience cesareans. I've been a pt of 4 CNM groups, and all had on-call hours.

I get it though. My husband's best friend is married to a family practice MD, and she stopped taking OB pts when her first child was born. How her practice did it was she was on call for the whole two weeks before the EDD, for her own pts. Also, if she had to call in the OB-GYN, she still stayed w/ her pt. Even with only 1-2 deliveries a month, it was too hard to manage with having babies of her own.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Are Nurse Midwives always on call? I know that the majority of them are but i was just wondering because being a mom i would like stability in knowing my exact hours and im not sure being on call would be the most desirable career for a mom.
This thread has been moved to our CNM forum. Good luck to you.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

i would hate to go off topic, but would you mind sharing your experiences working for a midwifery practice? its something i really hope to get into after graduation... i really enjoyed my l&d rotation, but I feel in the hospital its far too clinical, the way they treat pregnancy, at least in this location. i don't want to highjack this thread, or if you want to create a new one lol.. like what kind of work do you do, training, education, hours, etc. thanks!

I would be happy to answer, but I recently learned that one of my colleagues has figured out who I am here. :cautious: I will PM you, but don't want to go into great detail about what my job entails, in case there are other coworkers who read this forum, it would make it very obvious who I am. Suffice it to say, it's the best job I've ever had, and I LOVE my coworkers.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

I'd think that no-call positions are not the norm in midwifery...I mean, women go into labor 24/7/365 and CNMs don't do convenience cesareans. I've been a pt of 4 CNM groups, and all had on-call hours.

When I said "no call" I meant it's because there is always a midwife staffed at the hospital. They work regular 12-hour shifts just like the L&D nurses. When they're there, they're there. And when they're off, they're really OFF. Large midwifery practices will often work that way.

LibraSunCNM, MSN

Specializes in OB. Has 10 years experience.

When I said "no call" I meant it's because there is always a midwife staffed at the hospital. They work regular 12-hour shifts just like the L&D nurses. When they're there, they're there. And when they're off, they're really OFF. Large midwifery practices will often work that way.

Yes that's how my job is. There are 2 midwives on L&D at all times. We cover in 12 hour (or rarely 24 hour) shifts, and we take care of the patients that come in during that time. The patients see one main midwife in the clinic during pregnancy but I don't get called when one of them is in labor. Sometimes I happen to be working L&D, sometimes not.

cnmbfa

Specializes in OB/women's Health, Pharm. Has 40 years experience.

Agree, it depends. I worked in one practice with enough CNMs that I did two 12-hour shifts per week in L&D, did rounds, saw ER and triage patients. In another, had two partners and we split up the month, with every third weekend on. I came in for some (not all births) even when not on if a patient who was really attached to me requested it--maybe once a month.

I was on my own for 20 months when I started that practice, and actually found being on call 24 x 7 not too bad. Here's why: I was able to put a limit on how many patients we took in, so that I never had to do more than 10-12 births per month. I could also get a long weekend off by asking my consulting OB to cover for me. I usually did that when I had few, if any, patients due to give birth. I took vacations, and even had a choleycystectomy without any disruption to my life or the practice.

Once we started to add CNMs, the lid was off, and we ended up doing more birth (average 16-18). It eventually became clear to me that the owners of the practice were in no hurry to hire a 4th CNM because they made a lot of $$ by keeping it to three, even if it exhausted us.

When joining a practice, ask not just how much call, but how many births they do per month. If you have young kids, look for a practice with less call, and hope for one that does not require you to work in the clinic after being up at night.

Yes, it's challenging, but not as bad as it sounds. And the job is VERY fulfilling and well worth it.