Clinical supervision of midwifery students: Voices of clinical midwives in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa
Clinical teaching and supervision create learning opportunities for student midwives to acquire the necessary clinical skills and to practise the art of caring. It is expected that registered midwives will closely supervise students in the clinical areas while they practise. The aim of the study was to investigate how registered midwives working in the maternity units viewed their role with regard to clinical supervision of midwifery students. The study worked within a qualitative design using a descriptive, explorative and contextual approach. Participants were twenty- two midwives sampled from the twenty -seven working in the maternity units. Nonprobability purposive sampling was applied and data was collected by means of semi-structured one-on-one audio-captured interviews and observations. Data were analysed using Tesch’s method of data analysis. Two main themes emerged. The midwives agreed that their clinical supervisory role was of importance and necessary although some barriers were hindering the effectiveness of their role. For this reason, strategies were recommended to address those barriers. In conclusion, it was clear that midwives’ support from nursing schools was essential for effective clinical supervision of midwifery students.
Keywords: Clinical competence, clinical supervision, midwife, midwifery student, nurse educator