Midwives’ Attitudes Toward Their Professional Competences
Rapidly developing health care technologies and e-medicine and increased health literacy of patients place demand on the quality of health care services. The competences, autonomy, and interdependency of health care specialists are required to meet high standards of care. The aim of this study was to analyze differences in the midwives’ attitudes toward their professional competences when working in outpatient and inpatient health care facilities. MATERIAL AND METHODS. A survey based on a structured questionnaire composed of 17 closed-ended questions was carried out among midwives working in Kaunas and Kaunas region from April to May 2010. The Likert scale was used for the assessment of competences with the following scores: 1, unachieved competence; 2, partly achieved competence; 3, sufficiently achieved competence; 4, well-achieved competence; and 5, very well-achieved competence. If the mean score was less than 3, it was considered that the competence was insufficiently achieved by the midwives. The questionnaires enclosed in envelopes were distributed to 240 midwives. Of all, 215 questionnaires were returned (response rate, 89.58%). RESULTS. It was established that the midwives’ self-assessment with respect to achieved competences was rather high. The midwives reported that their best-achieved competences included personal and collective efficiency (a score of 3.94), and less-achieved competences included interpersonal influence and specialized competences (a score of 3.62 each). According to the midwives working in outpatient health care facilities, prenatal care was the best-achieved competence (a score of 4.42), while for the midwives working in inpatient health care units, it was care. The lowest assessment was given to knowledge of a foreign language by the midwives working in both outpatient and inpatient health care facilities (scores of 2.68 and 2.53, respectively). Activity/being active, scientific literacy, and the main principles of national and international health politics were also assessed by the midwives as insufficiently achieved competences. The midwives stated that 6 most necessary and most frequently used competences (where the competence listed in the first place is considered to be the most important and the following ones as less important) were the following: 1) natal care; 2) assisting at childbirth; 3) prenatal care; 4) quick response to a situation; 5) assessment of a condition; and 6) sense of responsibility. CONCLUSIONS. The midwives reported that the specialized professional competences were the most important for their practice; however, the general competences were considered as better achieved. After assessing the achievement of individual competences, in the opinion of the midwives, the best-achieved specialized competence was prenatal care and the general competence of care, while the least-achieved competence was knowledge of a foreign language. Achieved competences were better assessed by the midwives with longer work experience working in outpatient health care facilities, while the midwives with college/university education considered that their achievement of leadership competence was better.
Correspondence to A. Fitkevičienė Baltijos 98-12, Kaunas, Lithuania. firstname.lastname@example.org