To confirm placement in the program, an applicant is required to send in a signed contract and the first quarter deposit three months before classes begin or on the date designated in the acceptance letter. A full refund of this deposit is given if the applicant notifies the Director within 72 hours of signing the contract. If an applicant pays her deposit and cannot attend the class applied for, she may defer her starting date up to one year. If an applicant does not begin the program within one year of the original starting date, she must re-apply. Any money not refunded will be applied to her tuition. If an applicant decides not to attend, she must notify the director at least 60 days before the first day of class to receive a refund of half of her deposit. Otherwise all fees are nonrefundable. All tuition is nonrefundable once classes for each quarter have begun.
One half of PLEP enrollment fees will be refunded if the student informs the director within 60 days of payment that she no longer wishes to be enrolled in the PLEP.
Late Tuition Policy
If a student pays her tuition late, there will be a fee of $100. If it is not paid within two weeks of the due date, there will be imposed an additional 5% each 30 days on any remaining unpaid tuition thereafter. If the tuition is not paid by the end of the quarter, the student will not advance to the next quarter and will not receive credit for the previous quarter until the tuition is paid.
Peer review and self-evaluation are an integral and ongoing part of being a midwife. Evaluation of both midwifery knowledge and clinical skills is an essential part of the Maternidad La Luz program.
Students receive a final clinical and academic grade for each quarter. Grades given for academic and clinical achievement are S = Satisfactory, U = Unsatisfactory or I = Incomplete. A grade of Satisfactory is equivalent to 80% or above.
Students may advance into the next quarter with incomplete academic assignments; however there are some assignments that are required, as well as successful completion of the clinical requirements, necessary to advance to the next quarter. If a student receives an incomplete clinical grade, she will be placed on probation and will not be able to attend births until the clinical requirements are met. An Unsatisfactory is given if the student has failed the quarter, in which case it is possible for the student to repeat the quarter with the director’s approval.
Academic Progress Evaluation Components
• 25% Homework: Students have reading and homework assignments for nearly every class taught at Maternidad La Luz. All homework assigned during a quarter must be successfully completed to receive credit for that quarter.
• 25% Class Participation: Students are graded on class participation.
• 50% Examination: Students have an end of quarter exam for the First and Second Quarters. At the end of Fourth and Ninth Quarters students take a comprehensive exam. An 80% grade on exams is considered a passing grade.
If a student fails the end-of-first or second quarter examination, she will be required to complete a list of selected homework assignments that will be turned in and approved by an academic director before scheduling a make-up exam. The make-up exam must be taken by the end of the following quarter. There is a fee to take a make-up exam.
If the student fails the make-up exam, she must repeat the academic component of the failed quarter and pay a Repeat of Academic Component fee. If she fails the exam at the end of the repeated quarter, the student will be asked to leave the program.
If a student fails the fourth quarter exam, she will be required to satisfactorily complete all homework assignments and take a make-up exam within three months of failing the fourth quarter exam. If the student fails the fourth quarter make-up exam, she will need to make a plan to stay for an additional quarter for academic tutoring and pay the academic tuition for that quarter.
If a student fails any section of the Three-Year Examination, she must successfully retake it/them within five years of her initial start date of enrollment. She may retake any section up to two times. If the student does not successfully pass any section after two retakes, she will need to make a plan to stay for an additional quarter for academic tutoring and pay the academic tuition for that quarter.
Clinical Progress Evaluation Components
• Birth Reports: After every birth attended in whatever role, students write a birth report including a self-evaluation of their role birth. These are turned in to the Academic Director and become part of the student’s permanent record. All Birth Reports must be in the student’s file before each end-of-quarter evaluation.
• Birth Reviews: These optional forms are filled out by the student for primary and assist births and submitted to the staff midwife for comments and evaluation. Birth Reviews serve a dual purpose: They provide feedback to the student and provide the administration with another view of the clinical progress of the student. After the student has reviewed the staff midwife’s comments, the birth review is turned in to the Academic Director and becomes part of the student’s permanent record.
• Mid-Quarter Evaluation: Students undergo an evaluation in the middle of the First Quarter. The staff fill out an evaluation form that is reviewed by the student and an Academic Director. The Academic Director meets with the student at this time to discuss her progress. If there are any clinical or academic concerns during any other quarter, a mid-quarter evaluation may be required. If a student is on probation there will be a mid-quarter evaluation.
• Clinical Hours Record Book: Each student is required to keep personal documentation of her clinical experience in a provided documentation book. To record appointments, students keep record of client’s name, date of visit, the client’s EDD, baby’s DOB, and a midwife signs off the student’s work during each shift. Students tally the number of prenatal appointments, initial appointments, labor checks, labor sits, hospital transports, newborn exams, and postpartum visits. For students’ convenience, there are also columns to keep a record of blood draws, Paps, physical exams, breast exams, and pelvimetry. This document will become part of the student’s records for each quarter. At the end of each quarter a tally sheet summarizing all clinical work for the quarter must be turned in to receive credit for clinical hours.
• Verification of Births Attended: Students are required to keep a record of all births attended and their role at each birth—primary, double primary, assist, documenter, gofer, observer, or hospital birth—newborn exams and transports. The record of each birth must be initialed by the supervising staff midwife. This document serves as the official tally of births attended and must be turned in at the end of each quarter.
• Self-Evaluations: Students have the opportunity to do a self-evaluation at mid-quarter in the first quarter, and at the end of each quarter thereafter, using the same evaluation form that staff use to evaluate the students.
• End of Quarter Evaluations: Each student’s progress is reviewed quarterly at staff meetings and compiled into an End-of-Quarter Evaluation that looks at where the student is compared to expected levels. Staff midwives recommend whether a student should be advanced to the next quarter or repeat. The compiled evaluation is reviewed by the student and an Academic Director during the student’s end-of-quarter evaluation, and a copy of the evaluation is given to the student.
Advancement to Intern Level
Interns are expected to have successfully completed all of the clinical hours and academic classes for the 1st and 2nd Quarters. Designated assignments from the 1st and 2nd Quarters MUST be completed to advance to the level of intern at Maternidad La Luz and to be eligible to take additional on-calls and assist other interns at births.
Completion of Assignments
Students have a grace period of three months after the end of their program to complete outstanding assignments. If a student has not turned in all homework by the end of the grace period, there is an administrative fee charged at the beginning of each month that homework is outstanding within the time frame stated below. In this case, students will be considered to on inactive status.
• The One-Year Program can be completed in 12 consecutive months, but may be extended to a maximum of two years.
• The 18-Month Program can be completed in 18 consecutive months, but may be extended to a maximum of three years.
• The Three-Year Program can be completed in 27 consecutive months, but may be extended to a maximum of thirty-six months.
• Students enrolled in the PLEP have up to two years to complete their program.
• California Challenge applicants have up to 18 months from the date of acceptance to complete the challenge process.
If a student interrupts her program for a significant amount of time, she will need to attend one week of reorientation per quarter of absence when she returns. There is a fee for this reorientation and the time spent is in addition to the normal program time. The majority of students complete their program within the three-month grace period mentioned above.
If a student goes beyond the stated timeframe for her program, she will be sent official notification to inform her that she is no longer enrolled.
Graduation & Official Documents
Diploma: A diploma is provided upon successful completion of the accredited One- or Three-Year Program. The student must have passing grades on homework, class participation, examinations and clinical experience, as well as the approval of the Academic Director. Upon graduation, Maternidad La Luz cannot guarantee any certification, licensing or employment in any jurisdiction.
Certificate of Attendance: A certificate of attendance is provided to those students who attend Maternidad La Luz on short-term placements or a Midwifery Practicum, or to students who do not successfully complete at least the One-Year Program. Students participating in these non-accredited courses will not be graduates of a MEAC-accredited program. They may not advertise themselves as graduates of Maternidad La Luz, nor will they necessarily be eligible for NARM certification or Texas documentation as result of their short course at Maternidad La Luz.
Transcripts: Transcripts include academic and clinical grades and credits and official verification of clinical tallies and births. Transcripts are available for any student completing any quarter for a fee of $25 for the first one and $10 each for any subsequent transcripts.
Official Verification: Official verification of clinical tallies and births attended is available to students who attend MLL for any length of time. Official verification is available for a fee of $25 for the first one and $10 each for any subsequent verification.
GRIEVANCE AND DISCIPLINARY POLICIES
Complaint / Resolution Policy
The following policies were written to help students deal with complaints about the school, clinic, staff or between individuals, or in the event of dismissal.
The ability to deal with a complaint in a positive manner is part of being a good midwife. Students will not be discriminated against in any way for making an informal or formal complaint. The complaint will remain as confidential as possible among the people involved. Students may begin the complaint process at any of the levels described below. They are encouraged first to talk with the person involved or ask someone to help mediate.
This process will preferably be used as the first step in resolving a conflict in the belief that people can solve their own problems.
• If a student at Maternidad La Luz has a grievance with something to do with the functioning of the school or clinic, she should speak to a director.
• If a student has a grievance with any individual at Maternidad La Luz, she should speak directly to that person and attempt to resolve the problem. If this does not satisfactorily resolve the grievance, a third party may be asked to assist via consultation or mediation.
• A student with a grievance may write to a director to make her aware of a problem and the intent to resolve it without going through the formal complaint process.
• Some other means for informal resolution include Birth Talks, Birth Reports, and evaluations.
Formal Written Complaint and Resolution
This process will be used if the informal resolution process was not successful in resolving a grievance or may be used as the first step in resolving a grievance.
The grievant(s) will fill out and give to a director the Formal Complaint Form. The director receiving the complaint will respond within 15 days acknowledging receipt of the complaint. The director who received the complaint will convene a directors’ meeting to review and act upon the complaint within 6 weeks. The complainant(s) will be informed of actions taken. If any of the parties involved are not satisfied with the directors’ plan, a Resolution Committee will be convened.
The Resolution Committee will be composed of the director who received the complaint, one other director, one staff, and two students, all to be elected by their peers. Family members, partners, or housemates of either complainant(s) or complained against may not serve as members of the committee.
Each member of the Resolution Committee will receive a copy of the book, On Conflict and Consensus to prepare to be an effective participant and to use as a guide to govern the resolution process. This committee will review all information and documentation relating to the complaint. Both the complainant(s) and the complained against may request to speak to the Committee individually. The Resolution Committee will develop written recommendations within 6 weeks of the date of being convened.
If any party involved is dissatisfied with the recommendations or outcome of the Resolution Committee, they may go to the Appeals Committee. The committee will be convened to attempt to develop another plan acceptable to all parties involved.
The Appeals Committee will be established by the Board on an ad hoc basis and includes the Board of Directors, Judith Lane and Patricia Gurley, and a Staff Midwife to be chosen by her peers. They will review all appeals and make a final decision.
If this process is unsuccessful, student complainant(s) may contact MEAC at 1935 Pauline Blvd., Ste. 100B, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.
All written complaints are kept for at least 7 years in a Complaint File along with the decisions or actions taken.
When a student problem is identified, a written warning will be given by a Director to notify her of the problem. A copy of the warning will be kept in the student’s file.
A student will be placed on probation when a serious problem is identified. Any discussion, suggestions for remedying the problem, and a timeframe for solution of the problem will be kept in the student’s file. If the problem is not remedied within the stated timeframe and conditions established by the Director and the student met, the student may be dismissed.
Grounds for Probation or Dismissal
A student may be placed on probation or asked to leave the program for the following reasons:
• Failure to comply with the requirements, rules and policies of the school as described in the Student Handbook.
• The student’s actions put a client or Maternidad La Luz in danger.
• Unsatisfactory clinical progress at the end of a quarter as determined by the Director and/or two clinical Staff Midwives.
• Unsatisfactory academic progress at the end of a quarter as determined by failure to pass the end-of-quarter exam, failure to complete the assignments required to advance to the next quarter, and habitual absences or tardiness.
• Disrupting a class, impeding or otherwise hampering the educational process of other students in the School or Center.
• Failure to comply with the conditions of a warning or probation.
• Failure to attend classes or clinic shifts without prior approval by the Director.
• A charge of plagiarism or cheating.
• Failure of a student to pay tuition by the end of the following quarter.
• A felony conviction related to midwifery or failure to be rehabilitated from prior felony convictions.
• Has a conviction involving a crime of moral turpitude.
• Has been successfully sued for a midwifery act, fraud, or deceptive trade practice within the last 10 years.
• Is currently in violation of any midwifery regulation in Texas or any other state or province.
• Falsification of records.
• Determination by the Academic Director that a student is conducting herself in an unprofessional manner either in a clinical situation or in any situation in which the student is representing herself as a Maternidad La Luz student.
• Inability to act in the role of a student midwife, as determined by the Director.
• A recommendation for probation or dismissal from the Resolution Committee.
The Academic Director has the authority to dismiss a student immediately under any of the conditions described above. The student may appeal within 30 days of the date of dismissal, in which case the Resolution Committee will be convened.
During the period of appeal and after dismissal, the person shall neither participate in school activities nor represent herself as a Maternidad La Luz student, nor should she represent herself as a former student in good standing. She will surrender her school identification card to the director.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND STUDENT RECORDS
A midwife deals with clients’ current and past medical and psychosocial history and other information of a personal nature. It is important to respect that all information about a client is of a confidential and sensitive nature. None of this information should be discussed outside of the MLL clinical setting. Caution should be maintained when speaking on the phone so that no breach of confidentiality is made. Maternidad La Luz does not permit students to make copies of client charts.
The same respect for confidentiality should apply to personal relationships at the center and in classes. The environment at Maternidad La Luz fosters open communication; students are expected to respect the privacy of sister students and staff.
The names, addresses and phone numbers of clients, students and staff are never released without permission of the individual concerned.
Records of Clinical Experience
Many students need to verify their clinical experience for licensure or certification. Students are responsible for maintaining their clinical hours and numbers and documenting them in their Clinical Hour Records Book. This book contains forms to keep track of the number of prenatal and postpartum appointments the student does, as well as forms to record all births attended. A supervising Staff Midwife signs off all clinical work, births, and transports. Copies of these forms and tally sheets are kept as permanent records in the student’s file.
Access to Student Records
Maternidad La Luz maintains an open record policy. Student records are stored in fire resistant file cabinets in the locked office of the Academic Director to prevent unauthorized access and are protected against potential fire and water damage.
Students have access to their records during end-of-quarter and mid-quarter evaluations, or by appointment with an academic director. Students are given a copy of their clinical evaluations at the end of each quarter.
Maternidad La Luz considers student records and information about students to be confidential and private in nature. Therefore a written release is required from a student before any information can be shared or transferred to another institution or entity in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
STUDENT ATTENDANCE POLICIES
It is expected that students will attend all scheduled clinical shifts and classes. On occasion events arise that require an absence or tardiness. It is the responsibility of the student to inform a director of any anticipated absence or tardiness.
Maternidad La Luz attempts to accommodate students’ observance of religious practice. The birth center operates 24 hours a day seven days a week and must be adequately staffed at all times. An applicant who has religious restrictions must explain their needs during the application process to see if it is possible to work out a plan with Maternidad La Luz.
Each clinic day is important for both student learning and for the smooth running of the clinic at Maternidad La Luz. Students are expected to be present at clinic 15 minutes before the scheduled shift so that they are settled in before starting the day. Shift begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. with a circle of students and staff who were on the previous shift and those coming on. Clinical staff keep attendance of students who are scheduled for the day, reporting anyone who is absent or tardy to the Clinical Director. Students are expected to work until the 8:00 AM change of shift circle ends a.m. the following day or until their postpartum clients have gone home and the birth rooms have been completely cleaned and restocked. Primaries with an early morning catch may hand over the postpartum at 10:00 AM to a student on the new shift once the newborn exam and paperwork are completed.
A student who is ill may need a day or part of a day to recuperate. This must first be cleared with a Clinical Director. Students are responsible for arranging their own substitutes for clinical shifts when possible.
Any unexcused absence may constitute review and probation or expulsion. A student who is late three times will be given a written warning. Being late a fourth time may result in probation. Being late while on probation may be grounds for suspension or expulsion.
Classes for the first and second quarter students are usually held on Mondays and Thursdays from 1 to 4 PM. Third and Fourth Quarter classes are usually held on Wednesdays and/or Fridays from 9 AM to 4 PM. Fifth through Eighth Quarter Classes are scheduled individually with the Assistant Academic Director. All students and interns attend Birth Talks/Peer Review on Tuesdays from 1 to 4 PM.
Academic faculty keep class attendance and record P (present), A (absent), T (tardy) or B (attending a birth during all or part of the class). They also record class participation as S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory).
In an excused absence or when missing a class because of attendance at a birth, the student will be expected to complete the learning objectives for that class in writing and hand in the assignment within two weeks of the class, or she may attend the class when it is next offered.
Students planning to eat in class must prepare food ahead of time.
Emergency and Personal Leave Policy
We understand that students may need to be absent temporarily from the program for an emergency or personal reasons. The Emergency and Personal Leave Policy was written for situations of family emergencies, severe illness, or personal reasons. A student may take no more than two weeks of non-vacation leave during the one-year program.
A student who needs to take leave must fill out a Request for Leave Form and submit it to the Academic Director for approval. Students taking leave must make up classes as described above in the Missed Classes Policy. Missed clinical shifts will be made up at the end of the student’s program. A student missing more than two weeks in a single quarter during her program will need to repeat the quarter or make individual arrangements with the Academic Director.
Students work 7 shifts in each 3-week period, generally in a 1-day-on, 2-days-off pattern unless they are in the Extended Program. Occasionally students will be scheduled for “back-to-back” shifts, i.e., 1 day on, 1 day off, 1 day on. Students may not work a “back-to-back-to back”, nor may they work two 24-hour shifts in a row or do only half a shift for another student.
A monthly student clinic schedule is made up by the Associate Clinical Director and released by the 20th of the previous month. Students may not make requests for days off; however they are allowed to switch shifts with sister students through a written request and with the permission of a Clinical Director.
There is no vacation time scheduled during the First, Second and Fourth Quarters of the program. There is a two-week vacation during the third quarter, and for students in the Three-Year Program one week of vacation in the Fifth and Seventh Quarters.
Missed Birth Policy
Maternidad La Luz has a policy to fairly distribute students’ presence at births.
• If a student decides that she cannot be primary at births for whatever reason during a shift, she will put an “X” in the next primary box on the Birth Rotation Chart. The student needs to discuss her reasons for missing the birth with a Director. If this happens repeatedly, the student may be placed on probation.
• Students who are on vacation will take an “X” for each week of vacation.
• Students who are in the extended program will be given an “X” at the beginning of each quarter in the extended.
• Interns in the Fifth through Ninth Quarters will be given an “X” at the beginning of each quarter.
OTHER STUDENT POLICIES
One student is assigned on each shift to sleep on the couch downstairs in the birth center at night in order to answer the phone, open the door to laboring women and do labor checks.
We have found the need to establish a very specific dress protocol in order to respect the comfort level of our clientele and to have a professional appearance. Students must keep in mind that during their 24-hour shift at Maternidad La Luz they may be accompanying a client to the hospital. Other health care professionals see students as representatives of the El Paso midwifery community, and in a broader sense, all midwives. We recognize and appreciate diversity of expression and understand that it may be difficult to adapt to this policy. Nonetheless, students are asked to observe the following:
• Students on shift or at the birth center for on-call clients may wear their choice of scrubs that come in many colors and styles. They must be clean, ironed and presentable. Scrubs will be worn both during the day and at night at MLL, when going to the hospital, and when on MLL field trips. Scrubs with a printed hospital name may not be worn at the clinic. Students should keep spare scrubs at the clinic in case of accidental splashes.
• Closed-toed shoes must be worn at all times in the clinic and must be clean and professional looking.
• Hair must be clean and neat and pulled back.
• Fingernails must be clean and cut short.
• Deodorant should be used, especially during warm weather.
• Bras and underwear should not be showing.
Our clients view staff and students as professional caregivers; therefore students should be mindful of their appearance whenever they come to the clinic, even when not on shift. If students are unsure about the appropriateness of their clothing, they may ask a Director. If a student’s attire is found to be inappropriate or her hygiene unacceptable for the clinic, a Director or Staff Midwife will ask the student to address the problem before attending clients.
Although students will be working under the direct supervision of a licensed midwife, they must be aware of the rules and regulations guiding midwives and birth centers in Texas.
Policies for student midwives involve adherence to several official documents, the most important being the Texas Birth Center Rules, Texas Midwifery Standards, and Maternidad La Luz Protocols. A copy of the Texas Midwifery Standards is located in the Protocol Book that is kept in the clinic so students may refer to it easily. All MLL protocols must be followed. During orientation, every student receives a copy of the Protocol Book that contains the Texas Midwifery Standards.
All students on shift are responsible for having a car in good working condition in case they are required to accompany a transport to the hospital. MLL requires a valid driver’s license, and the state of Texas requires car insurance.
MLL welcomes visitors to the center for a 24-hour shift. All visitors must be approved by the Director before coming to the center. Visitors may attend births only if a client agrees. Students’ children are not allowed at the center or the school without prior approval. Students’ pets are not allowed at the center or the school.
Students may receive mail and packages at the center at 1308 Magoffin. Maternidad La Luz stamps and stationery may not be used for personal mail.