Mentoring in the clinical training of midwifery students. A focus study of the experiences and opinions of midwifery students at the Medical University of Warsaw participating in a mentoring programme
The current system of clinical training for midwifery students in Poland is in need of considerable revision to adapt it to the global standards and the expectations of healthcare providers, healthcare users and student midwives themselves. Aim of this study was report the experiences of midwifery students participating in a mentor-led clinical training programme and their opinions of mentoring as a novel training method. Methods: A qualitative descriptive study that used a focus group was
... ocus group was undertaken in the period from October 2017 to June 2019. The participants were 12 second-and third-year midwifery students at the Medical University of Warsaw who at various times during the study period had their clinical training in the Department of Obstetrics, Solec Hospital in Warsaw. All students had previous experience of clinical training other than clinical mentorship. At the end of the study, a focus group interview was conducted with all 12 participants. Five questions were selected to guide the focus group discussion: Did you get any valuable learning experience during your clinical training? How did this clinical training differ from your previous clinical training? What was your experience of one-onone mentoring? Did the mentoring programme meet your expectations? What do you think could be changed to make the proposed mentor-led clinical training more effective? Results: Four themes were identified. The study demonstrated that mentoring was perceived by the participants as an innovative and effective method of clinical training for midwifery students. All students positively evaluated the quality of the mentor-led clinical training which allowed improving their clinical skills and building new competencies. Students believed they could effectively use their clinical skills and make informed decisions in a safe and supportive clinical learning environment. They felt that their inclusion in the therapeutic team contributed to better patient care. Conclusions: The use of innovative forms of clinical training at undergraduate level improves its effectiveness and in the future should be reflected in a high-quality maternity care. Mentoring has its advantages for both, mentor and mentee, but the main goal is to develop and improve professional competencies of the junior partner.