Racial and ethnic health disparities exist in the U.S. Increasing the numbers of providers of color is one recommended solution. African American midwives and educators were interviewed about their experiences with and opinions on direct-entry midwifery education. Using semi-structured interviews, participants were asked whether midwifery education is meeting the goal to produce more midwives of color and if not, how it could be improved to attract, retain and graduate more black students. Participants’ reported that their experiences of becoming and being midwives were shaped by societal racism, their route of midwifery education and valuing accessibility in midwifery care and education. Facilitators to completing midwifery training included motivations for becoming a midwife, family and social support and other midwives of color and finding peer support. Challenges in midwifery training were a sense of aloneness, overt racism from midwifery peers, lack of willing preceptors, financial challenges, a lack of financial aid, single motherhood and organizational racism. Recommendations to improve midwifery education were to embrace multiculturalism and practice cultural competence, offer financial aid and scholarships, support student employment, conduct outreach to black students, recruit black students, implement retention strategies, such as promoting mentorship, fostering peer support and providing academic support. Additionally respondents wanted midwifery educators to encourage creative problem-solving and flexibility within the structure of midwifery programs, develop sustainable employment models, support the leadership of African American women and expand distance learning programs. This paper offers important insights into an ongoing conversation about improving midwifery education, increasing access to midwifery care and reducing health disparities.
|Commitee:||Capestany, Sheila, Rosen, Daniel|
|Department:||Department of Midwifery|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||MAI 51/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, Medicine, Multicultural Education|
|Keywords:||African-Americans, Direct-entry midwifery, Midwifery|
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