Teaching Skills for Cultural Competence: Are Midwives Prepared for Practice?

Anne M. Malott, RM, DPHN, BScN, MSN

Midwives are becoming increasingly available to women of all cultural and socioeconomic groups. Understanding the impact of socioeconomic and cultural issues on women’s health is critically important in providing comprehensive care to women. If prepared, midwives have an opportunity to provide individualized, culturally sensitive care. A pubmed search on cultural competence in midwifery care revealed much about cultural competence in women’s health and nursing, but little about educating midwives. A subsequent Google scholar search on obstetrical care was helpful in identifying desired skills and behaviours among practitioners as well as how to teach such skills to learners. This paper addresses the skills necessary for providing culturally competent midwifery care and describes how these skills are presently taught in the Ontario Midwifery Education Program. Recommendations for further development and evaluation of culturally competent maternity care are provided.

Cultural competence, culture and childbirth, women’s health

This article has been peer-reviewed. 


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