Addressing culture shock in first year midwifery students: Maximising the initial clinical experience.

Research paper by Allison M AM Cummins, Christine C Catling, Rosemarie R Hogan, Caroline S E CS Homer

Indexed on: 12 Aug '14Published on: 12 Aug '14Published in: Women and Birth


Many Bachelor of Midwifery students have not had any exposure to the hospital setting prior to their clinical placement. Students have reported their placements are foreign to them, with a specialised confusing 'language'. It is important to provide support to students to prevent culture shock that may lead to them leaving the course.To assist first year midwifery students with the transition into clinical practice by providing a preparatory workshop.An action research project developed resources for a workshop held prior to students' first clinical placement. Four phases were held: Phase one involved holding discussion groups with students returning from clinical practice; Phase two was the creation of vodcasts; Phase three was integration of resources into the clinical subject and phase four was the evaluation and reflection on the action research project. Evaluations of the workshops were undertaken through surveying the students after they returned from their clinical placement. A descriptive analysis of the evaluations was performed.Students rated the workshop, vodcasts and the simulated handover positively. Further recommendations were that complications of labour and birth be included in their first semester as students were unexpectedly exposed to this in their first clinical placement.The students evaluated the workshop positively in reducing the amount of culture shock experienced on the first clinical placement. In addition the students provided further recommendations of strategies that would assist with clinical placement.