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I believe… philosophies and wishes of Victorian midwifery students moving into practice

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      Introduction and Aim

      Research investigating graduate midwives' transition to practice has identified it as stressful, with a crucial contributor to that stress being the difficulty newly qualified practitioners have with applying their woman-centred midwifery philosophy in contexts where the biomedical model of maternity care is dominant (Cummins et al., 2017). The potential consequence of being unable to practice in accordance with one's beliefs and values is that practitioners become disheartened, potentially traumatised, and choose to leave the profession. This has significant implications for midwifery education, the midwifery workforce, and the outcomes of those who are cared for in maternity services.
      The purpose of this study is to investigate and understand how midwifery practice environments influence newly qualified midwives’ practice philosophy, whether their intention to remain in the profession changes, and how prepared for practice they feel from their pre-registration training.

      Methods

      In this longitudinal mixed methods study, graduating midwifery students will be invited to complete a survey every six months for five years, or until they decide to leave the profession within the five-year period. Participants will also be invited to annual focus groups at which the findings from the previous year will be presented to them for their review and comment.

      Results

      Early insights into graduating students' midwifery philosophies, their views about their preparedness for practice, and aims for their graduate year will be presented.

      Conclusion

      This study highlights the impact of the practice environment on graduate midwives' practice philosophy and by extension, provides valuable insights for midwifery education providers and maternity care facilities. The data suggests that if we are to have a sustainable, committed midwifery workforce, we need to find ways to support new midwives to practice in accordance with their values.
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