Floreat-based identical twin Anette Kirchhoff is one of the first to graduate from Curtin University’s undergraduate midwifery degree and is determined to help women have a healthy pregnancy and natural birth experience.
Having worked as a nanny and babysitter in Perth since she was young, 21-year-old Anette took her passion a step further to literally help bring more babies into the world.
Fresh from a clinical placement at Bunbury Regional Hospital as part of the course, Anette will officially graduate in February, at the same time as her twin sister Kristina, who took a different path studying mass communications at Curtin.
The three-year full-time Bachelor of Science (Midwifery) course includes 1500 hours of clinical practice, which has trained Anette in a variety of community settings such as clinics, hospitals, birthing centres and in the mother’s home to make her job-ready.
“Previously some hospitals did not consider employing midwives without being registered nurses first, but extensive ‘on-the-job’ practical training ensures graduates have the right skills and experience to start practising straight away,” Anette said.
Anette is currently completing a 12-month developmental midwifery graduate program at St John of God in Subiaco.
“I decided to grab the opportunity to work at the world-class healthcare facility, as I get to work with a dedicated program coordinator for the whole year, which is going to be really helpful,” she said
Jennifer Wood, Curtin University’s Bachelor of Science (Midwifery) course coordinator said the degree combined evidence-based theory and clinical practice.
“Students start their clinical experience in the first semester and receive training in a wide range of community and hospital settings,” Jennifer said.
“The midwife’s work may be clinical, research or policy-based and can involve other aspects of women’s health, sexual or reproductive health, lactation consultancy and childcare – those who have a highly developed knowledge base and many clinical skills, are in demand both nationally and internationally.”
The course is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA).