Experiences of midwives regarding practice breakdown in maternity units at a public hospital in KwaZulu-Natal
Mhlongo, Ndumiso Mbonisi
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Introduction Registered midwives are expected to practice their duties within the parameters of their scope of practice. Pregnant women have certain expectations about the midwife and their skills. If such expectations are not met, substandard care occurs. Such substandard care has a negative impact for both the pregnant woman and the Department of Health. Aim of the study The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of midwives working in maternity units, concerning midwifery practice breakdown in maternity units at a public hospital in KZN. Methodology A qualitative research study that was exploratory, descriptive and contextual in nature was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 midwives. Data was transcribed verbatim then organised into codes. Results The study revealed that the majority of the participants faced practice breakdown almost daily and most of the midwifery practice breakdowns start during antenatal care visits. Midwives who attended to pregnant women during antenatal care did not follow set protocols and guidelines and this resulted in complications during delivery. Most midwives were emotionally stressed and did not wish to continue practicing midwifery. Midwives were of the opinion that the management did not care about their challenges and did nothing to resolve the challenges.