Title of ArticleRelationships, roles and person-centred practices – collaborative birthing care in Nova Scotia
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sDanielle Macdonald
ReferenceVolume 12, Issue 1, Article 6
Date of PublicationMay 2022
KeywordsCollaboration, midwife, nurse, person-centred, workplace cultures

Background: Collaboration is an important factor in creating and maintaining safe and effective spaces in perinatal healthcare. Family-centred care has been used by perinatal nurses to provide care that focuses on the family. Woman-centred care is defining for midwifery, and centres care around women’s expert knowledge and decision making. Person-centred care extends these approaches to include all persons involved in healthcare. The ongoing integration of midwives into existing perinatal healthcare teams in Canada has created new opportunities for collaboration. Understanding how midwives and nurses collaborate can offer insights into how collaboration is influenced by different approaches.

Aim: The aim of this study was to understand how midwives and nurses collaborate in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Methods: Feminist poststructuralism guided this case study. The data collected included 17 individual participant interviews, document review and field notes. Feminist poststructuralist discourse analysis was used to analyse the data.

Results: The two main themes discussed in this article were negotiating roles and practices, and sustaining relationships. In the first theme, participants talked about how they negotiated their roles, how their skills and practices crossed over and the importance of communication and anticipation. In the second theme, participants described how they test trust, the ways in which midwives depend on nurses, and a need for more opportunities to work, learn and socialise together.

Conclusion: The relationships between midwives and nurses in Nova Scotia support their collaboration and contributions to ensuring their workplaces are safe and effective. The participants described intuitive engagement with person-centredness.

Implications for practice:

  • The Person-centred Practice Framework should be used to facilitate collaboration in perinatal healthcare
  • Individual, institutional and systemic commitments to intentional engagement with practice development are needed to support healthful cultures in perinatal healthcare
  • Research is needed to explore how family-centred and woman-centred care approaches may support person-centred practices and cultures

This article by Danielle Macdonald is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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