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Australian rural midwives: perspectives on continuing professional development


Stirling, CM and Monaghan, J, Australian rural midwives: perspectives on continuing professional development, Rural and Remote Health, 5, (4) EJ ISSN 1445-6354 (2005) [Refereed Article]


INTRODUCTION: Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provides an important counter to workforce pressures affecting rural midwives; however, there is a lack of information about how rural midwives understand and perceive CPD and how this is situated in the practising and social context. This research aimed to explore rural midwives' experiences and perceptions of CPD in context. METHODS: A qualitative approach gathered focus group data on the beliefs, opinions and perceptions of a total of 52 rural midwives (nine focus groups), across three Australian states: Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. The focus groups were taped and transcribed verbatim and data was analysed thematically using an inductive approach, with the aid of an NVivo (QSR Software, Durham, UK) computer program. RESULTS: Four key themes emerged from the data: midwives' views of CPD; their motivations for undertaking CPD; the choices they make around CPD; and how context factors facilitate their involvement in CPD. Congruence with issues evident in the literature were: the difficulties associated with role diversity, the need for acquiring key skills before engaging in CPD, and the importance of a culture supportive of ongoing learning. CONCLUSIONS: CPD can be considered an important strategy for the retention and professionalism of midwives. The study findings helped fill a gap in the literature about rural and regional Australian midwives' perspectives on CPD.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Midwifery
Research Field:Clinical midwifery
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Rural and remote area health
UTAS Author:Stirling, CM (Professor Christine Stirling)
UTAS Author:Monaghan, J (Mrs Julia Monaghan)
ID Code:37038
Year Published:2005
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2012-03-14

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