Who Do We Serve? Role Conflict in Ontario Midwifery

Julie Corey, RM

The integration of midwifery into the Ontario health care system has posed challenges to the role of the midwife. The pressure to maintain hospital privileges and the fear of litigation can place midwives in opposition to their role of advocate and support for childbearning women. Additionally, collaborative maternity care models may also create conflicting demands on midwives. Midwives can experience these challenges as role conflict which can have a detrimental effect on midwifery care and lead to work stress and attrition in the profession. Open dialogue, further research, education, consumer involvement and improved interdisciplinary communication are among the strategies that could be used to better understand and address role conflict amongst midwives.

midwifery, professional roles, ethical issues

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