African Health Sciences

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Challenges faced by student accoucheurs during clinical placement at the free state maternal health care institutions

Maureen Nokuthula Sibiya, Siphiwe Themba Madlala, Thembelihle Sylvia Ngxongo


Background: Anecdotal evidence suggests that student accoucheurs studying at the Free State School of Nursing in South Africa are faced with resistance, discrimination, rejection and unacceptability by pregnant women during their clinical placement at the Free State maternal health care institutions.
Objective: The aim of the study was to explore and describe the challenges faced by student accoucheurs regarding the maternal health care services they render to women.
Methods: An explorative, descriptive, and qualitative research design was employed to conduct the study. Purposive sampling was used to select student accoucheurs who met the inclusion criteria. Focus group discussion was used to collect data from the selected student accoucheurs. Data were analysed thematically, and the findings were triangulated with the integration of Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations as a theoretical framework that guided the study.
Results: The findings in relation to the research question were synthesised under four themes: transcultural diversity, socio-economic factors, social interactions and relations, and gender inequality in the work place.
Conclusion: The study is a contribution to the emerging education and training of student accoucheurs body of knowledge in the Free State Province and to the global existing body of knowledge regarding the phenomena.

Keywords: Acceptance; free state province; maternal health care; pregnant women; South Africa; student accoucheurs.
AJOL African Journals Online