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Caring in clinical practice: experiences and perceptions of learner midwives

Background. There is a growing concern about the lack of caring in midwifery clinical practice. In addition findings of studies exploring health-seeking behaviours in South Africa indicated the abuse of the pregnant women by midwives as the most important reason causing a delay in seeking health care.Objective. To explore the experiences and perceptions of the learner midwives of caring as exhibited by qualified midwives during midwifery clinical practice.Methods. A qualitative and phenomenological study was done. Ethical clearance was granted by the university and the managers of the hospitals where the Baccalaureus Technologiae II and III learner midwives were placed for work-integrated learning. Three self-report techniques used were diaries, debriefing sessions with reflection and focus group.Findings. Data from 48 diaries and two focus groups were analysed using a qualitative approach. Care of the women and midwife-related themes emerged, each with caring and uncaring as major categories. The findings illustrated that the learner midwives were familiar with and internalised the meaning of caring from the theoretical facilitation, however they did not always experience caring in midwifery clinical practice. Some of the midwives were caring, but the majority did not role model commitment, competence, compassion, confidence and communication.Implication for practice. Managers must be held accountable for setting, implementing and maintaining caring standards in the healthcare institutions. Furthermore, there is a need to emphasise the importance of role modelling and ensure that the affective aspect of caring is communicated to the learner midwives during theoretical facilitation and clinical practice.
Date31 October 2011
CreatorsChokwe, M, Wright, S
PublisherEvidence Based Midwifery
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rights© 2011 The Royal College of Midwives
RelationThe Royal College of Midwives

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