Exploring the Midwifery Training Challenges in Iran from the Viewpoint of Faculty Members and Graduates of this Field: Content Analysis
Background and Purpose: Midwifery importance is obvious due to its role in the health of mothers and children. For this reason, educating human resources trained in midwifery field as an effective measure to promote natural parturition and upgrade health services to mothers and children is attended in many countries worldwide. Ensuring efficient staffs that are capable to respond to the health needs of the target population is necessary, and education in this field is considered as a serious and crucial issue. Educational programs in this field shall be designed such that, in addition to the intellectual development of students, a platform is provided for achieving clinical skills and conversances and prepare midwives to perform tasks and skills acquisition and achieve professional independence. Some evidence indicates that there are disorganizations in maternal and child care system that, the root of many of them can be directly or indirectly traced in education for midwifery students.
Methods: In this qualitative study designed with content analysis method, 14 participants (including policy-makers, faculty members and alumni of Midwifery) were interviewed. Selection method of key informants was based on purposive sampling and, information were collected and implemented based on the experiences of participants in the study using semi-structured individual interviews. Interviews were gradually continued until data saturation. Using the methodology of content, thematic analysis of meaning units, primary codes, and then sub-themes and finally the main themes were extracted.
Results: About 300 primary codes were extracted from the transcript of the interview that, after reduction were finally summarized to 10 sub-themes and three main themes. The main theme was " weakness of educational program " which included a sub-themes entitled: inadequate educational environment, failure of practical skills, lack of appropriate training sources and inappropriate ways of teaching. The second main theme was entitled "insufficient ability of the educators" with sub-themes as: conservatism of educators, insufficient knowledge and experience of the instructor and insufficient support for the educator and, the third main theme of "failure of field of study" was presented from the perspective of the participants with sub-themes of the Graduate Curriculum restrictions, limitations and lack of diversity in postgraduate and dissatisfaction of studying.
Conclusions: The findings of this study showed that there are challenges in education system for midwifery students that, the recognition of these challenges is essential to promote this field of study and needs for the attention of educational planners to resolve these challenges. Otherwise, a great group of graduates of the country is failing to serve the target groups and the public health takes away from their goals due to the ongoing conflict with existing educational challenges.
Keywords: Midwifery, training, content analysis, qualitative research
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