Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of living in El Paso?
The cost of living in El Paso is considerably lower than most other cities throughout the United States. Average monthly cost of living ranges between $800 - $1,000 usd, and includes the cost of rent, utilities, and daily living expenses in most cases. There are countless housing options, including both shared and private dwellings, located in a wide range of neighborhoods, all within several miles of MLL's birth center.
Is living in El Paso safe?
In May 2010, El Paso was voted as the second safest large city in the United States (defined as metropolitan area with a population greater than 500,000). El Paso has also been nominated as one of the top three safest large cities in the United States for seven consecutive years.
Do I need to have a car?
It is required that students attending a clinical placement at MLL have access to a reliable working vehicle at all times. There is a public transportation system in El Paso, however the nature of work hours and "on call" requirements leave relying on public transportation a poor option. Valid car insurance and drivers license is required by MLL, as well as the state of Texas, and will be verified during the application process. For international students, purchasing a car in El Paso is an option. There are countless car dealerships throughout the city, as well as private sale options through online sales platforms such as Craigslist.
Can I work a SEPARATE job while there?
It is highly unlikely that you will have time to hold a job while enrolled with MLL. With the demands of clinical shifts, academic schedule, and homework, it would be very difficult to succeed at both. The program requires an average of 70 hours per week, making it more than a full time job in itself. There have been some students in the past that have had to incorporate a part time job into their schedule, but we strongly discourage this whenever possible.
Does the MLL provide housing?
MLL does not provide housing. Students often share housing, and can be connected in advance with the by providing your need for housing. Students often share housing, and graduating students will often turn their houses over to new students. We have a student community bulletin board located in the birth center. Letters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries about housing and we will post it. Be sure to include your name, contact information, and housing requests in your inquiry. Short term stay students can often find housing with currently enrolled students.
How much time is allotted for sleeping on a 24-hour shift?
There is no time allotted specifically for sleeping while a student is on a clinical shift. It is expected that the student come prepared to work the entire shift, if it is needed. However, if the birth center is quiet and all shift responsibilities have been met, the midwife(s) will often allow students to rest upstairs in the student quarters, until they are needed.
How long will it take me?
Dedicating one-year prepares students to complete most of the clinical and skill requirements set by NARM. The only numbers that a student may not complete while at MLL are the two required hospital births and five required home births. Once fully completed, the student apply to sit the NARM exam. If the NARM exam is passed, the student earns the title of certified professional midwife (CPM). Many students completing one year move on to work as birth assistants in a variety of settings, include birth centers and private home birth practices. MLL offers a resident program which offers a deeper clinical experience in areas such as suturing and IV placements.
Can I come for a shorter time?
Maternidad La Luz will accept applications from those looking to come for a short term visit, when openings are available. Any placement ranging between one-week and three months is considered a short term placement. This opportunity is open to those investigating a career in midwifery, experienced midwives wanting to participate in the birth center setting, and prospective students wanting to gain a better sense of daily operations at MLL. It is important to understand that those interested in short term placements will not attend births in a primary role, but in an observation role, if and when appropriate. Furthermore, short term placement students should not expect to take on full continuity of care clients.
Do you have to be able to speak Spanish?
YES, it is very important that applicants to the program, regardless of length of stay, have a strong proficiency in Spanish. Roughly 95% of the clients coming in to care at MLL are primarily Spanish speakers, making strong language skills imperative to offering care. There are a range of Spanish language courses offered in El Paso. You might consider joining our Spanish Immersion program.
Do you provide or have available health insurance for students?
No, students are responsible to provide their health insurance during their stay at MLL. We strongly advise that students posses valid medical insurance during their enrollment period.
Do you provide or have malpractice insurance?
At this time, MLL does not carry malpractice insurance, workers compensation, health insurance or liability insurance for any of its staff or students. It is the sole responsibility of each individual to seek out and pay for their own insurance needs.
How can I find housing in El Paso before I get there?
There is a student community board at the birth center that you can check, or the El Paso Times newspaper is available online. You may also contact us through our website.
Can I visit the BIRTH CENTER?
MLL welcomes visitors to come and experience a 24 hour shift at the birth center. If interested, please send an email with your name, contact information, a range of dates you would like to schedule your visit for, along with a brief bio about yourself to email@example.com
Are scholarships of financial aid available?
Maternidad La Luz sponsors two scholarship to assist the following categories: applicants who identify as a person of color and people who live in the El Paso/Juarez community. The number of qualifying applications received will determine each individual amount awarded. At times, there are some work-study scholarships available for enrolled students. Local women's resource centers have provided grants to some students in the past, and go-fund me channels have proven successful for previous students. State workforce agencies and state rehabilitation agencies have provided financial aid for Maternidad La Luz students.