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Phenomenon of becoming a midwife

Forde, Maria (2014) Phenomenon of becoming a midwife. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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My research explored student experiences of becoming midwives. It focused specifically on understanding their lived world experiences. The research is located in a hermeneutic framework as described by van Manen (1990). I chose to undertake a longitudinal study as the length of the students’ course of study was three years. My study recruited two cohorts of student midwives from two universities in the North West of England (n=90). Each university had a different recruitment target for their midwifery programme of study; University A (n=60), University B (n=30). I prepared a PowerPoint presentation and an information leaflet which supported the recruitment strategy (Appendix B). My approach proved successful as the study originally consisted of a purposive sample of student midwives (n=22); University A (n=10) which equated to 20% of the cohort and University B (n=12) equated to 33% of the cohort. Four students from University B dropped out of the research following the first focus group, thereby reducing the total sample to 18. This reduced the sample size of university B (n=8) which equated to 27% of the cohort.My use of narrative inquiry within focus groups enabled a hermeneutic cyclical process of gathering and interpreting the student holistic experiences in a constructivist paradigm (Clandinin and Connelly, 2000). I also used reflective diaries which enabled the students to reflect on their personal experiences. This added richness to the empirical data (Berg, 2009). The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was undertaken using the principles of van Manen (1990). I gained ethical approval from LJMU and the two universities where the students were studying. The aims of my research directed the focus of the study. Discovering their interpretations of their experiences of becoming midwives brought an understanding of the influences the working environment had on the process. The findings of my study brought new knowledge in respect of the education of student midwives. It also highlighted some of the restrictions imposed on their training within a medical model of care in an NHS Trust. The research also highlighted some of the challenges experienced by the students as they progressed through their training. The findings suggested there were many tension experienced by the students. The broad themes were related to: the students’ understandings of their learning and development, the ideology of the role of the midwife and the role of the midwife within the philosophy of the medical model of care in NHS Trusts. This brings new knowledge in respect of the education of student midwives.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Midwifery education, hermeneutic phenomenology, focus groups, qualitative methodology, students’ experiences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 11:01
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:26
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00004495
Supervisors: Churchill, Helen and Smith, Nicola
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4495
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