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Career development expectations and challenges of midwives in Urban Tanzania: a preliminary study

Tanaka, N., Horiuchi, S., Shimpuku, Y. and Leshabari, S. (2015) Career development expectations and challenges of midwives in Urban Tanzania: a preliminary study. BMC Nursing, 14 (1). ISSN 1472-6955

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Background: Approaches to addressing the shortage of midwives are a great need especially in Sub-Saharan Africa including Tanzania. The midwifery shortage in Tanzania consists of two major causes; the first is the shortage of pre-service nursing training and the second is the low rate of retention as it is difficult to sustain midwives’ career motivations. Lack of opportunities for career development, is one of the most related problems to keep midwives motivated. Continuing education as an approach to career development can heighten midwives’ motivation and cultivate more skilled midwives who can educate other midwives or students and who could raise the status of midwives. Effective continuing education is ongoing, interactive, contextually relevant and based on needs assessment, however there is very limited research that describes Tanzanian midwives perspective of expectations for career development; hence this research is significant for revealing important and meaningful professional desires of midwives in Tanzania.
Methods: This was a preliminary qualitative study, using snowball sampling to recruit 16 midwives in Tanzania. The researchers used a semi-structured interview including probing questions with both a focus group and several individuals. The data were collected from July to December 2013 and coded into categories and sub-categories.
Results: There were 14 midwives in the focus group interview and two midwives in the individual interviews. Through data analysis, four major categories (with subcategories) emerged: (1) motivation for learning (to achieve the MDGs, and to raise reproductive health), (2) knowledge is power (to provide good practice based on knowledge, to be a role model, knowledge gives higher position and courage, and knowledge enables one to approach to the government), (3) there is no end to learning (hunger for learning, and ripple effect).
Conclusions: From findings, four major categories plainly showed midwives’ desire for learning, however they experienced a number of barriers to access further education. Continuing education is one of the most important and effective ways to cultivate and retain midwives. In order to respond to the midwives expectations and challenges to overcome the barriers inherent in providing more continuing education, it will be necessary to increase accessible opportunities for career development in Tanzania.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Midwife, Continuing education, Tanzania, Reproductive health awareness, Life-long learning, Knowledge
Subjects: Policies, Strategies, Plans, Guidelines
Divisions: Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS)
Depositing User: Digital Library Manager
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2015 08:08
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2015 08:08

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