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Who is doing PEP? Come share your experience!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am starting my apprenticeship this month and I am doing the PEP process. My midwife originally encouraged me to do an MEAC school because she had heard that PEP can be difficult, but when I looked at all the schools, you had to sign off on just as many things, if not more so I didn't see the point of doing that.


So I'm just curious to hear everyone's experiences as you are going through it. Is it difficult? Do you have any tips for keeping the paper work organized?


I'm also wondering how quickly you start getting things signed off. Like how many births did you attend before being considered an active participant, how many newborn exams did you observe before doing them yourself, etc?

post #2 of 12

PEP is horrible to work through. I would do a MEAC school if I had to do it again. I know many others who feel the same way. They change the PEP rules almost every year and you end up having to redo things and start over it is a nightmare. They also only accept preceptors who are LM, CPM and CNM no traditional midwives.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

My preceptor is a CPM so no issue there. I strongly considered MEAC, but I really can't afford it right now. I've looked at a lot of the schools and it seems like just as much work as PEP. For example, I considered doing ATM but you actually have to get more skills checked off then PEP requires, on top of going down to Texas 7 times for workshops. I just don't see how a school is any easier, especially when I would be scrounging money to pay for it. I'm going to have to start with PEP no matter what. DH will be getting a promotion at work soon and we might be able to afford MEAC later on, but I'm not going to wait around for that. Might as well try PEP out since its free to start instead of being locked into $5000 minimum at an accredited school.


Does anyone have anything positive to say about PEP or any helpful tips?


And honestly, I don't even plan 100% on taking the NARM. I'm going to use the PEP as a guide to judge my skill level and achievements, and if I want to take the test when I'm done I'll be ready to.

post #4 of 12

I also am planning on doing the PEP process.  I have not started getting any signatures yet, although I probably can at this point for "active participant" births.  My midwife trainers are both CPMs and OK for signatures, so that's not a problem.  I'm overwhelmed at any point about the paperwork, but I am not sure that doing a MEAC program is also going to be helpful.  I am partway through a non-MEAC accredited school anyway, and feel like I'd be duplicating the work for a MEAC program, so my plan is to go forward from here.  I have to say that I am not trying to get done as fast as possible, if it takes a year or two, more or less, to finish up, it is OK, because I'm mostly trying to meet the needs of my family.  I have to go all the way to the exam, as the CPM credential is required in my state, and I am choosing to work inside those parameters at this time.


I have spoken with several midwives in this area who are working toward their CPMs, and it is pretty brutal, both the amount of paperwork, the question of whether signing midwives have lost their privileges, etc.  The biggest frustration seems to be that PEP changes the requirements frequently, narrowing the possible ways to make it work, not expanding the ways people can attain their midwifery credential.  I know that there is a student group where this is being discussed, hopefully some changes and clarifications will take place.


post #5 of 12

I dont understand why it is any more difficult really. I have not looked at all of the MEAC programs, but the ones I have looked at have modeled their experience paperwork after the NARM PEP paperwork anyhow. They just add the academic portion to it and there you go. Some are really not even that great of an education to begin with. I know of a couple in particular that are basically just PEP with an intense study in what you have to know and or do to pass the NARM exam in the end. So there are plenty of students who have chosen those schools and been very unhappy with the money spent.


I am dont PEP and am jsut starting on paperwork really. Finding preceptors to work with has been the challenge for me. But if you are lined up for an apprenticship already then that may not be the issue.

My two tips at this point.... read read and read again the information given on teh NARM site. Download the appropriate forms and read read read them. There is a 75 page document that does a good job explaining the process and helping show you what you need to know for the exam, ect. If you have the resources print EVERYTHING out, hole punch it all, (plastic sleeves are very good for forms) and put it in a binder.


THEN make an appointment with your preceptor to go over it all with her as well. This way she is fresh in understanding what you need to accomplish by the end of your apprenticeship and what her role is expected to be, and the requirements to qualify as a preceptor for you. It is a good time to talk to her about what her expectations are of you as well as your expectations for working with her. Too often new students dont know the questions to ask or the expectations they should have when they start out and can become dissappointed when they are not getting the experience they were hoping for.


Last, once you have it sorted out, have your experiences and skills signed AS YOU GO. I can not stress that enough. You never know when something will happen that could end the relationship. Anything. You dont want to have spent two years working with a midwife, and have to start all over because you didnt have her sign as you went and all of a sudden you cant have it done.


I hope this helps some!

post #6 of 12

I am going through the PEP process and should be sending my portfolio for evaluation by the end of September.  I don't see it being difficult, but hopefully I will not encounter issues during the submission process.  Both of my preceptors are CNM's.  One is already approved the other I am waiting for NARM approval.  The one thing that is confusing to me though is the second set of skills evaluation with a QE.  I would be interested as well to hear what submission and testing is like. 

post #7 of 12

I just decided to do PEP! I also can not afford a school...

We will see how this goes! Any students from California??


post #8 of 12

I did PEP and didn't think it was difficult at all.  BUT...I was able to get everything done in between changes in the requirements.  So I do agree that the changes in requirements is frustrating for those caught in the middle of them.  Usually though they have a grace period to help those who are just about done.  


If you can't afford a MEAC school and ATM isn't going to work out, I highly recommend Via Vita.  Affordable and a great program!!



have your experiences and skills signed AS YOU GO.

HUGE ditto!!!  




The one thing that is confusing to me though is the second set of skills evaluation with a QE.  I would be interested as well to hear what submission and testing is like. 

You pick a QE and decide on a date.  NARM mails her the test packet.  You gather the supplies that are on the list.  When you test she reads the skill that you are to perform and what you are to demonstrate.  As you do the skill you must verbalize *everything *...EVERYTHING...that you are doing and why.  She marks whether or not you did all the steps.  Then she mails the packet back to NARM.  You'll get a letter telling you if you passed or not.  It's pretty simple really.  

post #9 of 12
Don't CA licensed midwives need to complete a MEAC accredited program? I thought I heard that.
post #10 of 12
Don't CA licensed midwives need to complete a MEAC accredited program? I thought I heard that.
post #11 of 12

PEP has been a nightmare for me... I've been studying for 5+ years and finally got around to starting an apprenticeship last year - it was not the experience I'd hoped for... my preceptor wasn't busy, she required 40+ hours of work for virtually no experience for me, so I finally quit. I was putting in 110% and was receiving close to nothing in return. I attended 2 births in the whole 8 months I worked with her... yikes.

post #12 of 12
I am a CA student midwife doing PEP for 6 years now. Currently on maternity leave. I think the main issue is whether both you and your preceptor are good with paperwork. I and mine are not, and I am hating playing catch-up. I really enjoy creating my own study structure and time table but it was very hard to study while apprenticing full time and homeschooling 3 kids. I'm using maternity leave with my fourth as study time, and then I just have a bit more numbers to complete, a ton of paperwork, and exams. In CA, I hate that I have to pay so much to NMI for the challenge exam and do all the repetitive paperwork, but it's much cheaper than full enrollment in their program and I appreciate that. I'm happy to minimize the amount of outside time pressure put on me.
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