The development of a theoretical model of midwifery competence in birth technology

Authors: Crozier, K., Sinclair, M., George Kernohan, W. and Porter, S.

Journal: Evidence Based Midwifery

Volume: 5

Issue: 4

Pages: 119-124

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Authors: Crozier, K., Sinclair, M., George Kernohan, W. and Porter, S.

Journal: Evidence Based Midwifery

Volume: 5

Issue: 4

Pages: 119-124

ISSN: 1479-4489

Background. Concept analysis and ethnographic observation have identified and confirmed attributes of midwifery competence in birth technology. Aim. To develop a theoretical model of midwifery competence in birth technology, by identifying typologies of competence and testing their validity with practising midwives. Method. A comparative analysis was undertaken of the findings from concept analysis (Crozier et al, 2006) and ethnographic observation (Crozier et al, 2007). The results of this were tested with a focus group of eight midwives who had taken part in the ethnographic observation. Results. Three typologies of midwifery competence in birth technology emerged - 'bureaucratic', where guidelines and policy govern decisions, 'classical professional' (CP), where judgements are made based on personal expertise and experience, and 'new professional' (NP), where women are involved in decision-making. These were supported by the midwives in the focus group, who identified with the two to which they ascribed greater value - CP and NP - while recognising that bureaucratic competence was the most prevalent. Conclusions. The typologies developed appear to have been validated by the midwives in the focus group. Although additional research would be required to validate and explore them further, the model provides a useful tool with which to initiate discussion about decision-making processes involving the use of technology in the clinical environment. © 2007 The Royal College of Midwives.

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