The 'follow-through' experience in three-year Bachelor of Midwifery programs in Australia: A survey of students

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nurse Education in Practice, 2012, 12 (5), pp. 258 - 263
Issue Date:
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Introduction: The follow-through experience in Australian midwifery education is a strategy that requires midwifery students to 'follow' a number of women through pregnancy, labour and birth and into the parenting period. Background: The experience was introduced by the Australian College of Midwives as part of national standards for the three-year Bachelor of Midwifery programs. Anecdotally, the introduction caused considerable debate. A criticism was that these experiences were incorporated with little evidence of their value. Methods: An online survey was undertaken to explore the follow-through experience from the perspectives of current and former students. There were 101 respondents, 93 current students with eight recent graduates. Results: Participants were positive about developing relationships with women. They also identified aspects of the follow-through experience that were challenging. Support to assist with the experience was often lacking and the documentation required varied. Despite these difficulties, 75% felt it should be mandatory as it facilitated positive learning experiences. Discussion: The follow-through experience ensured that students were exposed to midwifery continuity of care. The development of relationships with women was an important aspect of learning. Conclusion: Despite these challenges, there were significant learning opportunities. Future work and research needs to ensure than an integrated approach is taken to enhance learning. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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