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How well does midwifery education prepare for clinical practice? Exploring the views of Swedish students, midwives and obstetricians
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Caring Science/Nursing. Department of Women's and Children's Health, Division of Reproductive and Perinatal Health, Karolinska Institutet.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4123-405X
2013 (English)In: Midwifery, ISSN 0266-6138, E-ISSN 1532-3099, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 102-109Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: midwifery education in many countries has been adapted to the academic system by a stronger focus on research methodology and scientific evidence. This development has often taken place without extending the programs. We were interested in exploring views about current content of midwifery education in Sweden with a focus on clinical competencies and the new research components. OBJECTIVE: to investigate views about Swedish midwifery education held by students prior to graduation and after 1 year of practice, and by experienced midwives and obstetricians, with special focus on clinical competency. DESIGN: nationwide surveys conducted between June 2007 and January 2008, and 1 year later (follow-up of students). METHODS: self-administered questionnaires completed by 171 (83%) students and 121 (59%) of these participants after 1 year of midwifery practice, and by 162 (54%) midwives and 108 (40%) obstetricians with at least 5 years of clinical experience. The responders were asked to assess predefined intrapartum competencies, which components of the education were allocated too little and too much time, and how well the education prepared for clinical practise overall. Content analysis of open-ended questions and descriptive analyses was used. FINDINGS: most students, midwives and obstetricians were 'very' or 'fairly' satisfied with how the education prepared midwives for clinical practice and 1.8%, 4.7% and 17.6%, respectively, were dissatisfied. About half of the obstetricians and one-third of the experienced midwives rated new midwives' ability to identify deviations from normal progress as low or lacking, compared with 10% of the students. A majority found that too little time, of the 60 weeks programme, was allocated to intrapartum care and medical complications and too much time to research and writing a minor thesis. KEY CONCLUSIONS: although few were dissatisfied with how midwifery education prepared for clinical practice in general, the majority of participants would have liked more time for medical complications, intrapartum care, and emergency situations, and less for research. These findings suggest that the balance between clinical competency and research, and how the research component is integrated into clinical knowledge, should be further discussed and evaluated. Also the discrepancy between the views of newly educated midwives and those of more experienced midwives and obstetricians need further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 29, no 2, p. 102-109
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Health and Welfare
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-10582DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2011.11.012ISI: 000314949900002PubMedID: 22265224OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-10582DiVA, id: diva2:546278
Available from: 2012-08-23 Created: 2012-08-23 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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