Undertaking midwifery studies: Commencing students' views

Carolan, M. and Kruger, G. (2011) Undertaking midwifery studies: Commencing students' views. pp. 642-647. ISSN 02666138 (ISSN)


Objective: to explore the motivations and beliefs of commencing midwifery students against a background of high course demand and high student attrition. Design: a qualitative analysis of student reflective essays. Setting: Melbourne, Australia. Participants: all commencing midwifery students, in 2008, were invited to participate (n=41). Measurements and findings: three primary motivations for choosing midwifery were identified, including: notions of altruism (wanting to help), a fascination with pregnancy and birth, and a view of midwifery as a personally satisfying career. Key conclusions and implications for practice: Bachelor of Midwifery programmes attract students with idealised views about midwifery practice. Such views may lead to student disillusionment, tensions with educators and clinicians, and higher rates of student attrition. Students need greater support to examine their views about midwifery practice. More meaningful support may assist the students' successful socialisation into clinical practice. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

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