Objective: Midwifery students have the challenge to learn to be autonomous and capable midwives to ensure a safe and emotionally satisfying experience for mothers (to be) and their babies. They have to develop and acquire knowledge and skills for practice, and they have to adopt and internalize the values and norms of the midwifery profession in order to socialize as a midwife. In this study we explored conceptualisations of 'good midwives' among nearly graduated final year midwifery students as a result of their professional socialization process.
Design: A cross-sectional study consisting of an one open-ended question was undertaken. Data was analyzed qualitatively, inductively and deductively by using Halldorsdottir's theory of the primacy of a good midwife.
Setting: One of three midwifery academies in the Netherlands in July 2016 were included.
Participants: All midwifery students (N=67) in their final year were included.
Findings: Student midwives gave broad interpretations of the features of a good midwife. Three themes - next to the themes already conceptualised by Halldorsdottir - were revealed and mentioned by nearly graduated Dutch midwifery students. They added that a good midwife has to have specific personal characteristics, organizational competences, and has to promote physiological reproductive processes in midwifery care.
Key Conclusions: Students' views are broad and deep, reflecting the values they take with them to real midwifery practice. The results of this study can serve as an indicator of the level of professional socialization into the midwifery profession and highlight areas in which changes and improvements to the educational program can be made.