Working as a coordinator midwife in a tertiary hospital delivery suite: a phenomenological study
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This phenomenological study has been conducted to reveal midwives’ experiences working as coordinator/charge midwives in tertiary hospital delivery suite settings. The methodology is informed by Heidegger’s interpretive phenomenological, hermeneutic philosophy (1927/1962). Data analysis is based on van Manen’s (1990) research methodology. Five coordinator/charge midwives who work at three tertiary hospitals were interviewed. These interviews were tape recorded, transcribed and analyzed to uncover commonality of themes which revealed what it felt like ‘being’ a coordinator/charge midwife. The three themes which emerged and are discussed in the data analysis chapters are: “The performing art of leadership”, “Time as lived” and “In the face of the ‘known’ and the ‘unknown’”. The findings of this study reveal coordinators are the ‘hub’ or the ‘pivot’ at their workplace with their art and soul of midwifery at the very core of their ‘being’. They ‘know’ the unpredictability of childbirth and are regularly challenged by ‘lived time’ as they ‘leap in’ to situations and ‘leap ahead’. Their ability to facilitate teamwork and their resilience in the face, at times, of seemingly insurmountable obstacles shines through.