Western Australia facing critical losses in its midwifery workforce: A survey of midwives' intentions

Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Midwifery, 2013, 29 (5), pp. 497 - 505
Issue Date:
2013-01
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Objective the ongoing attrition of the midwifery workforce frustrates future workforce planning and the provision of maternity services in Western Australia. This project determined factors contributing to the intention of the midwives to move jobs and/or leave the profession. Design a cross-sectional survey approach was taken for this descriptive research utilising a self-administered questionnaire developed by the Nursing and Midwifery Office, Department of Health, Western Australia. Setting public and private health sectors in Western Australia, AprilMay 2010. Participants 1,600 midwives employed in the public and private health sectors throughout Western Australia were invited to participate: 712 responded (44.5%), one-fifth of the state's registered midwives. Findings most midwives worked part-time in a clinical role in public hospitals. Almost half intended moving jobs within 5 years and/or leaving midwifery. Excluding midwives of retirement age, the most common reasons for intending to move jobs were family commitments, working conditions and role dissatisfaction. Those intending to leave midwifery cited work-life balance, career change and family commitments. Midwives thought addressing the following issues would improve midwifery retention: flexible work arrangements, remuneration, staffing and caseload, workplace culture, professional development and models of care.
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