An Exploration Of The Development Of Resilience In Student Midwives.

Williams, Jacqueline (2020). An Exploration Of The Development Of Resilience In Student Midwives. EdD thesis The Open University.



Student midwives have to complete a demanding programme to become a midwife, and therefore it is questioned whether they need resilience to be successful. The study‟s aims were to explore whether resilience developed in one cohort of 25 undergraduate student midwives and what the concept of resilience meant to them. This study adopted a longitudinal case study approach, in one Higher Education Institution (HEI) in England, during the first 18 months of their programme. The study used Wagnild and Young‟s (1993) (updated 2015) True Resilience Scale©, administered on three occasions. Additionally, four focus groups were conducted twice and six participants were involved in one-to-one interviews, to explore issues raised in the focus group.

Version 24 of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the findings of the True Resilience Scale©. Pairwise comparisons revealed that there were significant differences in True Resilience Scale© scores between the first and the second completion (p= 0.034) and time 1 and time 3 (p= 0.002); there were no significant differences between time 2 and time 3 (p=1.0). In this cohort of student midwives the scale showed that the majority had developed their resilience during the study.

The qualitative data were thematically analysed using Braun and Clarke‟s (2013) stages. The participants described themselves as developing resilience despite the programme being very hard. They believed that being passionate about midwifery, being adaptable and learning from reflection was key to being resilient as a student midwife. The importance of support and belonging in clinical practice and their mentors were key to success. Despite the challenges they encountered on the programme, they felt supported and prepared to become midwives.

A model, which defines resilience for student midwives, is presented for consideration in midwifery curricula to strengthen how reflexivity is taught and supported.

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