Training Midwives: A Guide for Preceptors, 2nd Ed.
by Daphne Singingtree and contributors

Training Midwives: A Guide for Preceptors

[2004, Eagletree Press, Eugene, Oregon; $12.95, 131 pages, paperback]

[Review first published in Midwifery Today Issue 73, Spring 2005, © 2005, Midwifery Today, Inc. Review by Cher Mikkola.]

As midwifery has re-emerged in past decades, it has been continually transformed and redefined by its practitioners, guides, teachers and consumers. Daphne Singingtree has played an important part in this transformation through her midwifery practice, her Oregon School of Midwifery training courses and her publications. Her updated guide for preceptors is no exception.

Daphne’s book starts with an overview of midwifery education, its history and its future. She then includes the personal stories of 17 midwives who have worked as apprentice, preceptor or both. Their stories offer immediacy, inspiration and hardy testimony to a teaching/learning method that is thousands of years old and found in all cultures.

The nitty-gritty of the book, however, is in the sections called "Preceptor" and "Student." Here Singingtree’s talents as a teacher shine through. Ample use of checklists, bullet lists, question/answer features, forms and charts makes this a user-friendly compilation of her teaching skills, no doubt refined over many years of instructing others in the art of midwifery. Information is highly accessible; the reader can pick and choose what to bring into her own preceptorship or apprenticeship. Topics range from preceptors’ bill of rights, responsibilities, qualities, clinical teaching tips and communication skills to students’ thinking skills, self-directed learning, contracts, evaluation forms, challenges and more.

In the spirit of the Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council’s (MEAC) mission to "promote quality education through midwifery accreditation" and the North American Registry of Midwifery (NARM) mission to "provide a nurturing forum for support and cooperation among midwives," this book accomplishes much toward supporting these important goals.

Reviewer Cher Mikkola is a contributing editor at Midwifery Today magazine, the editor of Midwifery Today E-News, and a freelance writer, editor and proofreader who specializes in the field of birth.

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