Beyond qualification : learning to be midwives
Purkis, Judith Christine (2006) Beyond qualification : learning to be midwives. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
WRAP_THESIS_Purkis_2006.pdf - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2222202~S15
"I know that every day I am gaining experience ...
learning more" (Int. 6(a))
This thesis examines the social practices and associated learning that shape the meaning
of midwifery for new members of the profession. In doing so it explores the extent to
which the implications of practice either liberate or circumscribe midwives' identity
formation. The thesis further suggests how this identity formation may impact upon
commitment to a long term career in midwifery. The theoretical framework for this
thesis acknowledges that continuing professional development and evidence of
recognised learning activity is, for all midwives, a professional requirement. However,
less attention has historically been paid to the unstructured, unintended and relatively
informal learning that occurs within and throughout midwives' involvement in everyday
practice. It is through these forms of learning, and drawing upon data elicited through
surveys, interviews and diaries, that this thesis seeks to make a contribution.
Using a social model of learning, particularly through Wenger's (1998) work on
communities of practice, the development of identity is presented as a negotiated process
mediated to a greater or lesser degree by workplace relationships. Whilst relationships
with pregnant women form an important element of this process, the thesis argues that
collegial relationships generally assume greater importance and impact on the
development of identity and meaning for newly qualified midwives. By situating the
everyday experiences of newly qualified midwives within a broader theoretical debate
about social learning, identity and the making of meaning, this thesis suggests that the
contemporary 'doing' of hospital based midwifery remains within what are fairly
narrowly prescribed, contested, yet firm boundaries.
The development, existence and negotiation of these boundaries is central to the space
which pregnant women, midwifery and midwives can occupy. These boundaries are
simultaneously hierarchical, intra professional and personal. Furthermore, in practice,
these boundaries are frequently unclear and rapidly changing. Whilst this contributes to a
potentially dynamic opportunity for identity formation, the thesis demonstrates how this
also transpires to contribute to an unstable, frustrating and frequently challenging context
particularly for newly qualified members of the profession.
Overall, this thesis contributes to an understanding of the development, or lack of
development, of midwifery practice at theoretical, conceptual and practical levels.
Viewing practice as social learning offers a new perspective on the opportunities and
challenges inherent in the current model of care. Simultaneously it suggests a new
perspective on the recruitment crisis faced by the profession and accordingly the
opportunity for new potential solutions.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Midwives, Career development, Employees -- Coaching of, Teams in the workplace|
|Official Date:||September 2006|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||School of Health and Social Studies|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Lewando Hundt, Gillian ; Hughes, Christina, 1952-|
|Extent:||x, 331 leaves|
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