Health SA Gesondheid (Online)
On-line version ISSN 1025-9848
CHOKWE, Mmajapi E. and WRIGHT, Susan C.D.. Caring as a core concept in educating midwifery learners: A qualitative study. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.1, pp. 1-7. ISSN 1025-9848.
Caring is the core business of nursing and midwifery, involving a relationship in which the carer is committed to the needs of the one being cared for (Mason-Whitehead, Mcintosh, Bryan & Mason). Caring is the emotion which drives a midwife to care, the motive aimed at assisting someone to grow and self-actualise (Watson). The concern in midwifery is that irrespective of caring being central to the midwifery profession, caring taught in theoretical learning does not always translate into caring behaviour in practice. A qualitative exploratory study examined how midwifery educators impart the skill of caring during theoretical learning and clinical accompaniment, in order to respond to the general complaint made both locally and internationally that midwives are uncaring. The aim was to explore caring during theoretical learning and clinical accompaniment from the perspective of midwifery educators. Participants in the study were midwifery educators teaching midwifery in institutions of learning in Tshwane, South Africa. The naive sketch was used to gather data, wherein one central question was asked and the educators were invited to narrate and respond. Three themes emerged: the meaning of caring; how caring was conveyed during theoretical learning; and how it was conveyed during clinical accompaniment. Although the midwifery educators expressed how they conveyed caring to the learner midwives, it was not evident how caring competencies were assessed in order to ensure caring midwives at the end of training.