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“It’s no ordinary job”: Factors that influence learning and working for midwifery students placed in continuity models of care

Published:October 05, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2022.09.009

      Abstract

      Background

      Maternity policy and guidelines increasingly recommend or stipulate the increased provision of midwifery continuity of carer as a priority model of care. The scale up and sustainability of this model will require that student midwives are competent to provide continuity of carer at the point of qualification. Guidance relating to how to optimally prepare student midwives to work within continuity models is lacking.

      Aim

      To explore perspectives and experiences of working within and learning from student placement within continuity models of care.

      Methods

      An online mixed methods survey aimed at midwifery students and qualified midwives with experience of working within or providing education relating to continuity models. Quantitative results were analysed through descriptive statistics while free text responses were brought together in themes.

      Findings

      Benefits and challenges to placement within continuity models were identified. These provide recommendations that will enhance learning from and skill development within continuity models of care.

      Conclusion

      There is a need for continuity of mentorship and strong relationships between education and practice, and the provision of flexible curriculum content around this to enable students to prioritise appointments with women in their care. System level evaluation and support is needed to guide the optimal provision of continuity models, so that they are effective in improving outcomes and experiences. Foregrounding woman centred care as foundational to education and facilitating the critical deconstruction of dominant discourses that conflict with, and may prevent this form of practice, will promote the provision of care that is integral to these models.

      Keywords

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