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Safety first: factors affecting preceptor midwives experiences of competency assessment failure among midwifery students

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Show simple item record Bradshaw, Carmel Pettigrew, Judith Fitzpatick, Mary 2019-04-01T15:33:34Z 2019
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Background Assessment of clinical practice is a core component of midwifery education. Clinical assessment is challenging and affected by a number of factors. Preceptor midwives are reported to be reluctant to fail students in clinical assessments. This is worrying as preceptor midwives are gatekeepers to the profession of midwifery and need to ensure midwifery students are safe and competent practitioners of midwifery on completion of their programmes. Methods This qualitative descriptive study explores preceptor midwives experiences of clinical assessment of midwifery students in four maternity units in the Republic of Ireland. Following ethical approval, twenty-nine preceptor midwives were interviewed. Content analysis was used to analyse the data and two themes with associated subthemes identified. Findings Competency assessment in practice was supported by a robust, clearly delineated process, considered vital to ensure effective and fair assessment of midwifery students. The process in place had many advantages but attracted some criticism too, most notably language, documentation and lack of continuity of the preceptor. The challenges of clinical assessment were multifaceted but the most pressing concern was dealing with students who were struggling in practice where the outcome of an assessment was potentially a fail. Preceptor midwives expressed reluctance to fail students but balanced this with ensuring safety for women and their babies. A number of other challenges hampered decisions in clinical assessments. These included the confidence of the preceptor, juggling the competing demands of clinical practice with effective assessment in an increasingly complex and fiscally challenging environment, operationalising the competency assessment process and the emotional toll associated with failing a student. Conclusion Preceptors’ primary focus is on ensuring that graduate midwives are safe and competent practitioners and it is this which guides their decision making on the outcome of clinical assessments. However, more support is required for the onerous responsibility of clinical assessment, particularly for less experienced midwives but also when failure of clinical assessment is a potential outcome. Preceptorship needs to be valued more at a strategic level en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Elsevier en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Midwifery;74, pp. 29-35
dc.rights This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Midwifery. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Midwifery, 2019, 74, pp. 29-35, en_US
dc.subject failure en_US
dc.subject clinical assessment en_US
dc.subject competency assessment en_US
dc.subject midwifery en_US
dc.subject preceptors en_US
dc.subject assessors en_US
dc.subject safe practice en_US
dc.title Safety first: factors affecting preceptor midwives experiences of competency assessment failure among midwifery students en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.midw.2019.03.012 2020-03-18
dc.embargo.terms 2020-03-18 en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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