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Continuity of Care: Supporting New Graduates to Grow Into Confident Practitioners

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AIM: This article describes how newly qualified midwives experienced their rotation into birth suite and a continuity of midwifery care model. The findings are part of a larger study that aimed to describe graduate midwives' expectations and experiences of their transition to practice.

BACKGROUND: Knowledge and understanding of how midwives make the transition from student to registered midwife remain limited. However, the literature suggests that this time is a critical period for a new graduate. Although transition support programs for midwives exist in New South Wales, Australia, there appears to be an ad hoc approach to their design, implementation, and effectiveness.

METHOD: A descriptive qualitative approach to elicit the experiences of 38 newly qualified Australian midwives. Telephone interviews and focus groups were used to collect the data. Content analysis was used to analyze the data set.

FINDINGS: The birthing environment was identified as the clinical area, which elicited the greatest level of apprehension for the midwives, whereas those with the opportunity to rotate into a midwifery continuity of care model rated the experience positively.

CONCLUSION: The findings of the study suggest that the newly graduated midwives felt a sense of social and professional belonging to the midwifery continuity of care models in which they worked.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-03-01

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  • The International Journal of Childbirth is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal publishing original research, reviews, and case studies concerned with the practice of midwifery, women's health, prenatal care, and the birth process. The journal encourages the exploration of the complex and contextual issues surrounding childbirth provision and outcomes and invites manuscripts from a wide range of clinical, theoretical, political, methodological, psychological, public health, policy, and multicultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.
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