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Validation of the MidACE tool – Students’ perceptions of the Midwifery Academic role in clinical environments

      Abstract

      Background

      Situating Midwifery Academics in clinical environments can have an important impact on students’ clinical learning. Students’ perceptions of this support role in the clinical environment using standardised measures has been under-investigated.

      Aims

      To develop and test a tool that measures midwifery students’ perceptions of the Midwifery Academic role on clinical learning and development of professional knowledge, skills and clinical capability.

      Methods

      A staged process for tool development included draft item generation, review by expert panel for face and content validity and pilot testing with a convenience sample of undergraduate midwifery students. Dimensionality, internal consistency and test–retest reliability were evaluated.

      Results

      Two hundred and seventy-nine midwifery students completed an online survey (74% response rate). Responses on the ten-item tool loaded strongly on one factor, explaining 69.6% of variance. Cronbach's alpha (0.94) and test–retest reliability (intraclass coefficient = .92; 95%CI .89–.95) were good. Most students agreed that the Midwifery Academic role supported the integration of midwifery theory and practice and critical self-reflection. Areas for improvement included working in partnership with preceptors; assessing students’ development; and increased presence in the clinical environment.

      Conclusions

      This study established reliability and validity of the Midwifery Academic in Clinical Environments (MidACE) tool. Students perceived Midwifery Academics could contribute further to their professional knowledge, skills and clinical capability through a strong collaborative presence in the clinical environment.

      Keywords

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      Glossary

      Preceptor
      a midwife in clinical practice who has a student assigned to work alongside them in the clinical environment on a day to day basis to support, teach and provide direct and indirect supervision of the development and mastery of clinical skills.
      Mentor
      a midwife that nurtures a mutually agreed professional relationship with a student or another midwife in which the mentor provides guidance, motivation, professional support and quality role modelling.