Exploring autonomy in education: preparing student midwives
The following article aims to describe the findings from a piece of research which examined whether a sample of senior midwifery students, close to registration, believed that their pre- registration midwifery education had prepared, empowered and enabled them to be autonomous practitioners upon qualification. Most of the participants believed that their midwifery education had in the most part prepared them to be qualified midwives, but it had failed to equip them for professional autonomy. They believed that the concept and realization of midwifery autonomy had not been expiicit enough in their educational programme. Any perceived barriers which the students felt inhibited qualified midwives from practising with professionai autonomy will also be discussed, as many of the participants interviewed considered that they had oniy witnessed midwifery autonomy in midwifery- led birthing units and that it was aimost invisible in obstetric led units. They considered that the medicaiization of chiidbirth had prevented most of their midwifery mentors practising autonomous midwifery.
British Journal of Midwifery