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Midwives primed for research: academic

Be the change you wish to see.

University of South Australia researcher Megan Cooper adopted the slogan for her article on the importance of midwives engaging with research.

Published in the Pacific Journal of Reproductive Health, Cooper’s article details the idea that, through research, there are opportunities for midwives to recognise local issues and promote change within their place of practice.

“Midwives are in a unique position, not only because they're at the forefront of care but also because they work quite closely within the multidisciplinary team and ultimately are the mediators between that team and the woman,” Cooper told Nursing Review. “As a result, they have great insight into not only the woman's wants and needs, but also the processes by which care is provided, and in this they are able to recognise the practice and sociopolitical gaps that need to be addressed.”

Cooper said research often scares people and the term initially intimidated her, but added midwives are always making decisions and ultimately always wanting to make the right decisions. “In order to do so, we have to have the knowledge and the insight to experience trial and error and experimentation," she said. "When you consider that we're doing this every single day of our lives, the concept of gathering knowledge is not quite so daunting.”

In her article, Cooper said even for midwives who won't move into research, some of the skills will still be necessary in their career.

In an interview with Nursing Review, Cooper detailed the ways in which research skills pervade the profession, discussed areas where more research is needed and offered advice for getting into research.

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