Reflection on professional identity by first year students of a midwifery bachelor programme in Germany
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Midwifery Research and Education Unit, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Evelyn Lesta   

Midwifery Research and Education Unit, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A93
Development of professional identity in order to provide high-quality midwifery care has been highlighted internationally1 and should be incorporated into contemporary curricula2.

Rationale for practice:
Educators are expected to design learning activities that enable midwifery students to link specific knowledge and skills to personal beliefs and their influence on practice3.

Description of application:
First year midwifery students were introduced to midwifery philosophy at the beginning of a module concerned with clinical aspects of care during normal labour. Three seminars were designed for further exploration. Students used creative methods to produce representations of their understanding of individual professional identity. Descriptions and discussions on the perceived value of the experience and findings were part of the final assessment.

Reflection on professional identity via designated seminars and formalizing the results at the end of the module enabled students to - engage with midwifery philosophy parallel to acquiring clinical knowledge and skills; - identify specific actions and behaviours which reflect their professional identity; - describe the perceived impacts of their professional identity on the care given to women.

Students expressed awareness of the continuous process involved in professional identity development and intended to follow up on preliminary findings. As reported elsewhere4, challenges to accommodate additional content without compromising clinical knowledge in the given module were identified. Digital formats might offer solutions5. Examples and research with respect to digital formats to facilitate professional identity development among midwifery students are warranted.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
No funding was related to the practice example presented.
World Health Organization. Framework for action. Strengthening quality midwifery education for Universal Health Coverage 2030. Published July, 2019. Accessed April 12, 2023.
International Confederation of Midwives. Revised Professional Framework for Midwifery. Published 2021. Accessed April 12, 2023. https://www.internationalmidwi...
International Confederation of Midwives. Essential competencies for midwifery practice. 2019 Update. Published October, 2019. Accessed April 10, 2023. https://www.internationalmidwi...
Barger MK, Hackley B, Bharj KK, Luyben A, Thompson JB. Knowledge and use of the ICM global standards for midwifery education. Midwifery. 2019;79:102534. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2019.102534
Dhakal P, Creedy DK, Gamble J, Newnham E, McInnes R. Effectiveness of an online education intervention to enhance student perceptions of Respectful Maternity Care: A quasi-experimental study. Nurse Education Today. 2022;114:105405. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2022.105405
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