AbstractThere is insufficient literature, which describes where rural midwives identify and draw their sources of professional support. The scope of practice for the rural practitioner differs from that of the urban based practitioner. Most rural midwives work in varying degrees of isolation. This isolation may affect rural midwives' access to the sources of professional support normally available to and more readily used by the urban practitioner.
The aim of this study is to describe where rural midwives source their professional support, which may provide insights into the ways in which rural midwives view their professional development needs. The research is a descriptive, qualitative study focusing on the perceptions, views and beliefs of sixteen currently practising rural midwives located in two rural hospitals in Northern Australia. The data collection tool was a questionnaire.
Findings demonstrate most participants needed and wanted professional support, but felt this was the employers' responsibility. Participants placed most emphasis on the need for ongoing clinical education in order to maintain clinical skills. Midwives recognised a need to be competent, yet felt that departmental policy relating to birthing, and lack of recognition of their special needs for professional support and professional development opportunities hindered them.
|Date of Award||2003|