PERCEPTIONS OF ROLE CONFLICT BETWEEN OBSTETRIC NURSES AND NURSE-MIDWIVES

Authors

  • Nancy R. Hazle CNM, MSN

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    • Nancy R. Hazle, CNM, received her MSN in Nurse-Midwifery from Saint Louis, MO. She is currently employed as a nurse-midwife at St. Joseph's Health Center Perinatal Services, St. Charles, MO.


6015 Pershing 2E, St. Louis, MO 63112.

ABSTRACT

The nurse-midwife assumes two professional roles: one of the registered nurse and one of the nurse-midwife. These roles may require different activities and may provoke different expectations. It may be assumed that role conflict exists both within the nurse-midwife (intrarole conflict) and between the nurse-midwife and the obstetric nurse (interrole conflict). Presented is a descriptive study of conflict within and between these two groups. The 100 studied nurse-midwives were randomly selected from the membership list of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). The 100 studied obstetric nurses were randomly selected from lists provided by hospitals that also employed nurse-midwives. Two mailed questionnaires were used to collect data from both groups. These questionnaires contained five sections: profile, content of care, attitudes and values, role definition, and critical incident report. An analysis of the data compared activities perceived as appropriate to the nurse-midwife by both groups, in addition to attitudes and values held by each group, perceptions of the nurse-midwife's role definition, and role conflict themes as reported through the critical incident report. Data indicate that although both groups have basically positive views of one another, interrole conflict is present to some degree. Data did not support conflict within the nurse-midwife.

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