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Document Type

Article

Country of Origin

Sri Lanka

Abstract

Objective: To explore midwifery-trained registered nurses’ perceptions of their own profession as maternity care providers and how they identify their role, tasks, and responsibilities within a multi-professional team.

Design: An exploratory qualitative study using focus group discussions and qualitative content analysis.

Setting: Three selected tertiary care hospitals in the Capital Province in Sri Lanka.

Participants: Twenty-two midwifery-trained RNs working in intra-partum and postpartum units.

Findings: The overriding theme of the analysis was identified as ‘competent but not allowed to blossom fully in their practice’, based on two main categories: ‘provision of competent care’ and ‘working with disappointments’. Each main category had four subcategories: ‘acting with compassion’, ‘cooperation in emergencies’, ‘exceeding one’s boundaries’, ‘taking full responsibility’ and ‘deprived of utilizing special knowledge and skills’, ‘role confusion with other professional groups’, ‘lack of professional identity’, and ‘not being appreciated by others’, respectively.

Conclusion: Midwifery-trained RNs conveyed a deep sense of disappointment regarding their profession as maternity care providers in Sri Lanka. Midwifery-trained RNs’ perceptions of their high proficiency are incongruent with their low sense of identity and belongingness within the multi-professional hospital-based maternity care team. This phenomenon warrants further study, considering its implications for team work and patient safety.

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