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Open Access Learning Maternity: The Experiences of Rural Nurses L'apprentissage des soins de maternité : l'expérience du personnel infirmier en milieu rural

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Abstract:

Two research studies explored rural nurses' experience with the provision of maternity care in rural British Columbia, Canada. Frontline nurses, managers, and health-care providers were interviewed and their practices observed. One of the main challenges identified by rural nurses was ensuring that a knowledgeable/skilled maternity or perinatal nurse was always available at the local hospital. Learning how to provide safe and supportive maternity care is difficult for nurses working in small rural hospitals today due to declining birth rates, increased workloads, and a decrease in opportunities for mentoring. Decisions about the allocation of time off and resources for rural nurses' continuing professional education (CPE) were structured by discourses of personal responsibility for "continuing competence." These institutional work processes increase the burden on rural nurses, negatively affecting their opportunities for CPE and their experiences of providing maternity care, with implications for both patient safety and nurse retention.

French
Deux monographies examinent l'expérience du personnel infirmier prodiguant des soins de maternité dans les milieux ruraux de la Colombie-Britannique, au Canada. Les auteurs de ces études ont d'une part réalisé des entrevues auprès d'infirmières et infirmiers de première ligne, de gestionnaires et de prestataires de soins de santé, et d'autre part observé les pratiques de ceux-ci. L'une des principales difficultés cernées par les infirmières et infirmiers en milieu rural est de veiller à ce que du personnel infirmier compétent et averti dans le domaine des soins périnataux ou de maternité soit disponible en permanence dans les hôpitaux régionaux. Il est aujourd'hui difficile pour le personnel infirmier travaillant dans de petits hôpitaux en milieu rural d'acquérir les compétences nécessaires pour offrir des soins de soutien et de maternité sécuritaires en raison de la baisse des taux de natalité, de l'augmentation des charges de travail et de la diminution des possibilités de mentorat. Les décisions d'allouer au personnel infirmier en milieu rural des congés autorisés et des ressources pour de la formation professionnelle continue (FPC) s'articulaient autour de discours mettant de l'avant la responsabilité personnelle des infirmières et infirmiers à l'égard de la « compétence continue ». Ces méthodes de travail institutionnelles contribuent à accroître le fardeau du personnel infirmier en milieu rural, et ont de ce fait une influence négative sur l'accès des infirmières et infirmiers à de la FPC et sur l'expérience que celles-ci et ceux-ci vivent lors de la prestation de soins de maternité, ce qui a des répercussions tant sur la santé des bénéficiaires des soins que sur la conservation du personnel infirmier.

Keywords: CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION; INSTITUTIONAL ETHNOGRAPHY; MATERNITY NURSING; NURSING EDUCATION; RURAL NURSING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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