Film episode by Sure Start

Antenatal Consultation

The episode:

Meet Mr and Mrs Schmitz.

They have attended the antenatal clinic for the routine 22 weeks assessment. Like many, Mrs Schmitz may be apprehensive about the results from the scan and the blood test. Veronica Williams is Mrs Schmitz`s community midwife and has devised a care plan for her. This involves assessing her general health and well-being throughout the pregnancy and undertaking routine procedures as required. Veronica is due to meet Mrs Schmitz to discuss her results.

After having watched the film, think about the following questions:

When language barriers are an issue why might you be concerned that Veronica is directing her questions and answers via Mr Schmitz?

* I wouldn`t be concerned.

* Mr Schmitz`s interpretation might be incorrect or misconstructed.

* Only Mr Schmitzt┬┤s feelings or opinions would be taken into account.

* The midwife would not understand what Mr Schmitz was saying to his wife.

* The midwife would not be able to address Mrs Schmitzt┬┤s needs because she would not know what they were.

* Have you considered the possibility of domestic abuse/violence in this relationship?

All the above points would apply.

What should have happened?

* Following initial assessment the midwife would have been aware that Mrs Schmitz did not understand the language.

* Arrangements should have been made to address this using a Link Worker, Interpreter or Language Line.

* An explanation would be made o Mr Schmitz that it is necessary for the midwife to be able to communicate effectively with his wife in order to ensure her involvement with her care so that all her needs can be met.