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Midwives' experiences when working with third year midwifery students

Purpose: Midwifery students require appropriate and timely access to clinical learning opportunities during their education toward a Bachelor of Midwifery and the quality of this clinical experience influences the student’s learning and confidence. To achieve this they must be supported by practising midwives. However at times midwives decline to work with students, citing a variety of reasons. To ensure the required quality and quantity of clinical placements the midwifery schools need to understand the barriers and enablers to midwives working effectively with third year midwifery students. Method: Midwives on the midwifery school’s database who regularly work with midwifery students were invited to participate in the research. Data was gathered through two focus groups of midwives who have worked with third year midwifery students. The transcripts were then thematically analysed. Findings: The midwives described their experiences when working with students. The first theme describes the midwives’ work with students and includes: that confidence thing, it’s not just about clinical skills and learning to be professional. The second theme describes the implications for midwives’ practice when working with students and includes: we are responsible, what is expected of me and wanting a break. Issues arising in professionalism weave through these themes. Implications: Students with poor knowledge levels and unprofessional behaviour were regarded as problematic for the midwives working with them. The midwives were frustrated when students could not see the bigger picture and did not appear to understand the expected professional behaviours and boundaries. The midwives enjoyed regular contact with the midwifery school to support them when working with students particularly concerning assessment of students. They also enjoyed the learning they gained from working alongside students which they found beneficial to their own practice knowledge. At times there were tensions between the needs of women and students, and as the midwife moved between her role as teacher, supporter and assessor of the student. However most placements were a positive experience for the midwives and they took pleasure in the student’s progression through the programme.
Type of thesis
James, E. M. (2010). Midwives’ experiences when working with third year midwifery students (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4983
University of Waikato
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