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Original Research

Exploring the meaning of caring amongst student midwives, professional midwives and educators in Tshwane, South Africa

Mmajapi E.T. Masala-Chokwe, Tendani S. Ramukumba

African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine; Vol 7, No 1 (2015), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/phcfm.v7i1.894

Submitted: 02 June 2015
Published:  18 December 2015


Background: In spite of caring being the core of midwifery and nursing, there is a constant public outcry about uncaring behaviours of midwives towards clients. Local media reports and recent discussion in the health system have highlighted the concerns regarding caring behaviours of midwives. Thus, there is a need to compare the meaning of caring from the perspectives of student midwives, midwives and educators.

Aims: The aim of this article was to determine the meaning of caring from the perspectives of the undergraduate student midwives, the professional midwives, and the educators teaching midwifery in Tshwane.

Setting: The study was conducted at healthcare institutions which the undergraduate studentmidwives attended for work integrated learning and at nursing education institutions inTshwane, South Africa.

Methods: The strategy was qualitative and exploratory in nature. The population comprised student midwives, professional midwives and educators. Purposive sampling was done. Focus group discussions were held with student midwives and professional midwives, whilst the naïve sketch form was used as data-collection instrument for educators. Content data analysis was done. The total sample realised was 38.

Results: The findings revealed that ‘caring’ was taken to mean being well conversant, up to-date and proficient in the field of work as well as considerate and respectful to others. The professional midwives indicated that they have seen colleagues demonstrate uncaring behaviour whilst educators emphasised respect as caring.

Conclusion: The student midwives, professional midwives and educators described caring as being a competent nurse with compassion and respect for others.

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Author affiliations

Mmajapi E.T. Masala-Chokwe, Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Tendani S. Ramukumba, Adelaide Tambo School of Nursing Science, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa



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ISSN: 2071-2928 (print) | ISSN: 2071-2936 (online)

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