Midwifery in the 21st century: Are students prepared for the challenge?
The role of the midwife is emotionally and physically challenging: birth rates are increasing, there are staff shortages and increasingly more complex cases for which to coordinate care (
Resilience can be defined as ‘the ability to maintain personal and professional wellbeing in the face of ongoing work stress and adversity’ (McCann et al, 2013: 61). Stress is an individual's reaction to change: positive stress is beneficial as it can be motivational, thereby contributing to successful outcomes; conversely, negative stress can have an impact on the individual's confidence and self-esteem (Seaward, 2006; Rodder, 2012).
The literature conceptualises resilience through a number of lenses. Collins (2007) suggests it is both a personal trait and the ability to adapt to adverse situations. Lutha and Cicchetti (2000) argue that suggesting an individual is inherently resilient is misleading as, in their view, it involves a process whereby the individual learns to be resilient through coping with adverse situations. In addition to definitions of resilience as a personal quality and a learning process, Masten and Coatsworth (1998) view it as an outcome: the individual becomes competent in the skill of dealing with adversity. Regardless of whether resilience is conceptualised by trait, process or outcome, there is wide acceptance that it is the positive adaptation to an adverse situation (Adamson et al, 2012).
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