Reflective midwifery practice: Facilitating midwives’practice insights using a distance education reflective practitioner model

Authors

  • Bev Taylor RN RM MEd PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Foundation Chair of Nursing, Centre for Nursing and Health Care Practices, Faculty of Health Sciences, Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Julia Stewart RN RM BSc DipNEd MA MEd,

    1. University Health Liaison Officer, Centre for Professional Development, Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Virginia King RN RM BA BHA MNA

    1. Lecturer in Nursing, Centre for Nursing and Health Care Practices, Faculty of Health Sciences, Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales, Australia
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Bev Taylor, Centre for Nursing and Health Care Practices, Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales 2480, Australia.

Abstract

A study was undertaken to evaluate a reflective practitioner model with midwives, who self-selected into the project when they were studying the Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) unit NR278, Advanced Nursing Practice, Midwifery. The theoretical assumptions that influenced the research were those forwarded by Schon (1983) and Boud, Keogh and Walker (1985), who argued that practitioners are often unaware of the sophisticated knowledge they have regarding the intricacies of their practice, but that this personal knowledge can be made explicit through reflective processes. The aim of the study was to research the use of a distance education reflective practitioner process that encouraged midwives to examine their practice with a view to making changes where necessary. All the research objectives were met to some extent, although each experience of the research process was particular to the individual participant. Analysis consisted of: interpretation of the participant's insights into their individual experiences; the researcher's interpretations of participant's experiences; and collective themes arising out of the research. This paper concentrates mainly on the participant's insights into their individual experiences of practising midwifery, using a reflective practitioner model.

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