University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

A Phenomenological Study of the Influences on First Year Students’ Decisions to Continue Their Pre-Registration Midwifery Education.

Snow, Sarah (2014) A Phenomenological Study of the Influences on First Year Students’ Decisions to Continue Their Pre-Registration Midwifery Education. In: The 7th Annual University of Worcester Birth Conference: Dignity and Compassion in Childbirth, 19/06/14, University of Worcester. (Unpublished)

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The midwifery profession is critically dependent on a sustained and renewable workforce in order to respond effectively to the dynamic health needs of childbearing women and their families. Midwifery students who withdraw from their educational programmes before completion therefore represent a significant loss on many levels. For the student, the experience is one of frustration and disappointment; for the educational institution, financial penalties are incurred that may also impact on future commissioning of funded course places.
The reasons for early student withdrawal are complex and therefore difficult to precisely identify. However, themes include unexpected life changes, financial difficulties and the stresses associated with clinical practice (Green and Baird, 2009; Urwin et al. 2010). The critical window for undergraduate students to consider leaving or actually leave appears to be within the first 12 months of their studies (Tinto, 1993).
The research described here is doctoral work in progress. The study is an exploration of the experience of first year midwifery students in managing the demands of their course and the factors that influence their decisions to continue. The reasons why students stay and are able to complete their pre-registration education are largely unknown. An understanding of this is likely to be more useful to practice and education than the reasons for withdrawal alone.
The retention of midwifery students is highly complex and contextual, likely to involve motivational, emotional and academic factors. Therefore, interpretative phenomenological analysis has been identified as the best methodological ‘fit’ as it has the potential to offer rich and detailed explanations of phenomena that bring the lived experience of individuals to life (Thomson et al. 2011).
The study is based on the experiences of one cohort of midwifery students during the first year of their degree programme at a local university and has 3 phases. During each phase, group and individual interviews with 6 students occur. Data is collected at the end of 4, 8 and 12 months of the students’ first year.
Early data analysis reveals an interesting theme of powerful, individual motivation to succeed that appears to be enhanced if the student experiences tensions at home or in clinical practice. All findings from phase 1 of the study will be presented at conference.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: midwifery students, midwifery profession, student retention, Pre-Registration Midwifery Education.
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sarah Snow
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2014 07:11
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 14:20

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