Do it MY Way! Midwifery Students’ Perceptions of Negative Clinical Experiences and Negative Characteristics and Practices of Clinical Preceptors

Lauren P. Hunter PhD, CNM, WHNP, FACNM* Elaine Diegmann CNM, ND, FACNM Jane M. Dyer, CNM, FNP, MS, MBA Gretchen G. Mettler, MS, CNM Suzan Ulrich CNM, DrPH Donna L Agan, Ed.D

The Institute for Nursing Research (INR) at San Diego State University, San Diego, California, funded this study. Remerciements : Cette étude est financée par l'Institute for Nursing Research (INR) de l'Université de San Diego, située à San Diego en Californie.

Human Subject Approval:
San Diego State University Institutional Review Board and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Institutional Review Board approved this study. Informed consent was obtained from all subjects. Approbation des sujets humains : Cette étude est approuvée par les bureaux de révision institutionnels de l'Université de San Diego et de la Faculté de Médecine et de Médecine dentaire du New Jersey. Tous les sujets ont fourni leur consentement éclairé.

The purpose of this paper was to describe the perceptions of midwifery students' concerning negative clinical experiences and ineffective role modeling received from clinical preceptors. Students (N=145) from accredited midwifery schools in the United States and Puerto Rico voluntarily completed a qualitative descriptive survey from a URL website. Descriptive statistics identified demographics and clinical setting characteristics. Openended questions gathered qualitative data about preceptor behaviours that were detrimental to student learning in the clinical setting. Content analysis of the narrative responses provided major themes that identified negative clinical preceptor characteristics and behaviours and negative clinical experiences from the student perspective. Six areas contributed to negative experiences with preceptors from the students' perspective. These included the number of assigned preceptors; the teaching style of the preceptor; the life stress of the preceptor; lack of Volume 6, Numéro 1, Printemps 2007 Revue Canadienne de la Recherche et de la Pratique Sage-femme 19 Introduction discussion included the topic of “hazing” by clinical Clinical excellence is a hallmark of midwifery. The preceptors and negative behaviours that undermined 1 role of the clinical preceptor is critical for students' student learning and self-esteem. The Directors of acquisition of clinical skills. At the American College Nurse-Midwifery Education (DOME) initiated a of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Annual Student survey to seek more information about the student's Meeting in 2003, concerns about the quality and concerns. This paper constitutes the first report from behaviour of clinical preceptors were discussed. The a larger study that examined both positive and preceptor knowledge; and a harsh clinical environment. The most difficult aspect of negative preceptors was the insistence for the students to “do it MY way”. Without effective preceptors much of midwifery's accumulated knowledge will be lost. By identifying negative clinical preceptor practices, improvements can be made to assist the preceptor and student in the process of learning. The negative practices represent areas where more research and interventions are needed.

clinical preceptor, midwifery students, negative characteristics, horizontal violence, bullying, education

This article has been peer-reviewed. 


Download article