Clinical Practice of Midwifery Graduates During Community Service Placement, Limpopo Province South Africa

  •  Khathutshelo G. Simane-Netshisaulu    
  •  Maria S. Maputle    


Midwifery graduates are placed in health facilities for community service during their first year of practice. The purpose of the study was to explore how midwifery graduates experienced their clinical practice during community service placement in Limpopo province. A qualitative study which is explorative and descriptive in nature was conducted in five selected hospitals. Population comprised of all midwifery graduates who have undergone a comprehensive nursing programme regulated by R425 of 19 February 1985, as amended; working in selected hospitals. Non-probability, purposive sampling method was used to select five graduates working in maternity unit of each selected hospital. Sample comprised of twenty-five participants. In-depth face to face interviews were used to collect data. Findings revealed that graduates experienced differences between theory and practice at different levels. Loss of students’ status, high level of responsibility and inadequate clinical learning opportunities made their transition difficult. In conclusion, graduates felt exposed to two different worlds of midwifery practice resulting in frustration and reality shock. Study recommends that midwifery training programme include opportunities to discuss realities of transition period, to enable graduates to deal with midwifery issues in a real and practical situation. Mentors should help graduates to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Structured support programmes should be offered to alley feelings of fear and insecurity resulting from increased levels of responsibility and accountability graduates are faced with.

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