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BCCNM reminds nurses and midwives
they must follow
PHO orders including meeting
mandatory vaccination status for working at certain sites. Nurses must also follow organizational policies and guidelines.
All midwives must follow the
Provincial Health Officer’s orders, including meeting
mandatory vaccination status for working at certain sites. While you’re not required to have a COVID-19 vaccine to be registered with BCCNM, as a registrant of the college, you are responsible for protecting your clients from the risk of infection. Nurses and midwives have a professional, ethical and legal duty to provide clients with safe care. Review provincial and federal and your employer’s/organization’s policies about immunizations and disease control.
Policy on Infection Prevention and Control provides more information about your responsibilities to provide safe care to clients.
Midwives with BCCNM practicing or temporary emergency registration may administer the COVID-19 vaccine to any person who falls within their scope of practice (i.e. pregnant or postpartum) and outside of their regular scope of practice (i.e. non-pregnant) if they meet the conditions set out in the
Provincial Health Order (pg. 2).
The Provincial Health Officer has temporarily authorized midwives to perform nasopharyngeal swabs to screen for SARS-CoV-2, for any person, within approved COVID-19 screening programs, as set out in the
Provincial Health Order. As per the order, midwives will need their competence to perform nasopharyngeal swabs assessed by their employer or the Medical Health Officer. This change will remain in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency in British Columbia.
Midwives who are not part of such a screening program continue to be authorized to perform nasopharyngeal swabs only for individuals/clients who are pregnant or postpartum: no competency assessment is required.
In all cases, midwives must perform this screening activity in accordance with the guidelines issued by the BC Centre for Disease Control.
The midwife has a responsibility to not abandon the client, but the midwife also has the right to not put themselves at risk. Midwives may withdraw or refuse to provide care if they believe that providing care would place them or their clients at an unacceptable level of risk. Midwives consider relevant factors, including:
their contractual obligations.
If the midwife chooses not to provide care then they are required to ensure a safe transfer of care to another provider.
As practice environments for midwives can vary, policies need to be communicated to clients before undertaking care.
If a client or any household members are sick or have screened positive for COVID-19, in keeping with the
Policy on Informed Choice, midwives should advise the client that hospital birth is strongly recommended. This is to ensure that best practices are met with respect to infection prevention and control, and, if the client is sick, that they have access to consultants and recommended monitoring during labour. If a client declines recommended in-hospital care, midwives should refer to the
Policy on Requests for Care Outside Standards to inform their next steps.
When communicating with clients in person or when posting on social media, midwives use verifiable evidence-based information from reliable sources about pandemic-related issues. The public must receive a consistent and clear message.
While there are many benefits to social media for both personal and professional use, midwives must be aware of the many risks, such as breach of privacy and confidentiality as well as providing false or inaccurate information.
Consider the following when communicating with clients or when interacting via social media:
Midwives are expected to always uphold the BCCNM Standards of Practice in all settings, including on social media platforms.
Midwives always maintain the privacy and confidentiality of their clients or any other clients.
Midwives work collaboratively when addressing their concerns about COVID-19.
Midwives are to rely on verifiable evidence-based information from reliable sources when communicating with clients in person and on social media about issues related to COVID-19.
Before posting or commenting, first and foremost, midwives should reflect on why they are sharing information via social media. They should use their professional judgment and put their obligations to clients and colleagues first.
Midwives do not share any information about clients, including on social media.
Registrants who identify themselves as a midwife on social media have a professional responsibility to maintain professional conduct even if posts are made while off duty. Social media posts have the potential to negatively impact both the public's perception of midwives and trust in the midwifery profession as a whole and could be considered
unprofessional conduct under the Health Professions Act.
The following BCCNM Resources may be helpful to midwives during this challenging time:
Regulatory practice consultation is available by: