Clinical Risk Management: Midwifery Practices

710 Words 3 Pages
Risk management is the scientific systematic identification, investigation and control of any impending and actual risk of any incident that puts people at risk of harm. The notion was introduced in the mid 1990’s with its main aim to lower litigation cost. Managing risk is therefore an essential factor in midwifery. Risk assessment, promotion and protection of safe child birth are key principles within the provision of maternity care. Working along women as they become mothers, midwives must come to teams that risk and safety are strongly related concepts. Safe practices decrease/or manage risk, while risks are assessed, prevented or controlled in order to stipulate a safe birthing environment. This essay explores Clinical Risk Management …show more content…
Midwives are required to assess women and assign them according to evidence based categories. Consequently, this influences the choices that women have during their pregnancy period and around birth. In CRM midwives are required to identify those women who are at high risk or low risk obstetric risk in order to minimise maternal and neonatal risk. However, Stahl and Hundley (2003) question the effectiveness of this strategy. Their study established that labelling women as “at risk” negatively affective their psychosocial state. Similarly, Hawson (2001) say that for a woman who considers herself healthy to be classified as “at high risk” increases the risk for complications. This is demonstrated in the increase of caesarean section rates. In an effort to control all risk for the mother, infant and maternity practitioner, caesarean sections are performed. Yet this intervention comes with its own risk. The problem for midwives is to work in this increasingly constrained environment while providing flexible woman centred care while in an environment focused on risk …show more content…
These increased fears/anxiety about risk and safety is reflected in maternity care and is appearing despite a growing understanding of causes, incidence and prevention of negative outcomes. By preventing/reducing the negative outcomes, there has been an increasing level of interventions, accountability and surveillance which has led to considerable implications for the way midwifery is practiced; therefore changeling the model “birth as a normal part of life”. Midwives are faced with the absurdity in attempting to work as birth is a normal perceptive or within a birth is risky perceptive. Working in this environment requires the midwife to have a highly developed understanding of risk aversion together with safe practices. A study by Davis-Floyd (2002) shows acceptance of the valuable knowledge that biomedicine has provided, but the risk society has manifested in maternity

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