Graduate Attributes for Midwifery Essay

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In addition to specialized expertise, university graduates need to be able to put into practice a range of skills that make them employable. In 2002 the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Business Council of Australia (BCA) defined eight employability skills that express the competencies and attributes that employers are looking for in university graduates. This essay will show that in the profession of midwifery the graduate attribute that is most important is communication, because this skill equips the midwife to deal with a broad range of situations and challenges. Communication skills are essential for providing woman-centered care, for collaboration within the medical system and for responding to technological, scientific and cultural changes in society. In an increasingly multi-cultural society cultural awareness has become an important part of communication, so this essay will focus in particular on the importance of a respectful understanding of Australian Indigenous culture. Firstly, communication skills are essential to woman-centered care due to the complexity of the communication process and the many barriers to communication that prevent women from being heard and understood. For the midwife, communication skills are not just about effectively communicating information to others, but more importantly, being able to interpret the intention and meaning of those communicating with her verbally, nonverbally or graphically. Dwyer (2003) defines communication as the transfer of meaning between at least one sender and at least one receiver. The sender communicates information, thoughts or emotions to the receiver who deciphers the meaning of the message. For good communication to occur messages must be transferred along suitable channels, in the right context and appropriate feedback is needed between the sender and receiver.

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