Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. Nursing includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled people and those requiring end of life care. Advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, research, participation in shaping health policy and in patient and health systems management, and education are also key nursing roles.
The term ‘midwife’ means ‘with woman’. Midwifery involves the provision of care and support to women during pregnancy, labour and birth, and to women and their babies following birth. Midwives have a key role in health promotion and education for women, their babies and their wider family circle. Midwifery care is underpinned by a philosophical approach that views pregnancy as part of the life cycle, a normal healthy event. The concept of partnership between the woman and the midwife is fundamental to midwifery practice and is based on mutual trust, support and collaboration.
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