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The introduction of registered undergraduate students of midwifery in a tertiary hospital: Experiences of staff, supervisors, and women

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Twitter @ProfLindaSweet
    ,
    Author Footnotes
    2 Orcid iD 0000-0003-0605-1186
    Linda Sweet
    Correspondence
    Correspondence to: 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood 3125, Australia.
    Footnotes
    1 Twitter @ProfLindaSweet
    2 Orcid iD 0000-0003-0605-1186
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

    Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research, Western Health Partnership, Victoria, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    3 Twitter @Vidanka2
    ,
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    4 Orcid iD 0000–0002-2772-811X
    Vidanka Vasilevski
    Footnotes
    3 Twitter @Vidanka2
    4 Orcid iD 0000–0002-2772-811X
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

    Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research, Western Health Partnership, Victoria, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    5 Orcid iD 0000-0003-3463-6878
    Susan Sweeney
    Footnotes
    5 Orcid iD 0000-0003-3463-6878
    Affiliations
    Western Health, Victoria, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Twitter @ProfLindaSweet
    2 Orcid iD 0000-0003-0605-1186
    3 Twitter @Vidanka2
    4 Orcid iD 0000–0002-2772-811X
    5 Orcid iD 0000-0003-3463-6878

      Abstract

      Background

      The Registered Undergraduate Student of Midwifery (RUSOM) workforce model provides final year midwifery students an opportunity of paid employment and gain experience as an assistant to midwives. A RUSOM supports the work of midwives by providing care to women and their newborns. Little is known about how the RUSOM role impacts the range of stakeholders in maternity care settings.

      Aim

      To evaluate the acceptability of the RUSOM role, how it is experienced by staff and women, and its impact on quality of care.

      Methods

      A mixed-methods approach including 9 qualitative focus groups (n = 41) and 4 descriptive surveys (n = 135) was used.

      Findings

      The introduction of the RUSOM role has numerous benefits for the service, midwifery staff, women, and the RUSOM themselves. The RUSOM relieved the burden on the postnatal ward, giving midwives more time to work at their higher end of scope in direct clinical care. Having a clear scope of practice for the role ensured there were clear boundaries between the RUSOM and the midwife, resulting in the positive satisfaction for the maternity services team and women in their care.

      Discussion

      Employing RUSOM staff has both immediate and long-term benefits for maternity services. The role had the potential to improve the professional development of upcoming midwives, leading to high quality and experienced graduates that are an invaluable asset to a maternity service.

      Conclusion

      The positive outcome from this evaluation provides evidence for the expansion of the RUSOM model which can enhance the quality of care for women.

      Abbreviations:

      RUSOM (Registered Undergraduate Student of Midwifery), RUSON (Registered Undergraduate Student of Nursing)

      Keywords

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