Publicatie datum

Perceived job demands and resources of newly qualified midwives working in primary care settings in The Netherlands.

Kool, L., Feijen-de Jong, E.I., Schellevis, F.G., Jaarsma, D.A.D.C. Perceived job demands and resources of newly qualified midwives working in primary care settings in The Netherlands. Midwifery: 2019, 69(1), 52-58
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The objective of this study is to identify perceived job demands and job resources of newly qualified midwives (NQMs), working in primary midwifery care during their first years in practice.

A qualitative study, with semi-structured group interviews was conducted. Midwives working less than three years in primary midwifery care in the Netherlands were invited to join a focus group interview.

Measurements and findings
Five focus group interviews were with 31 participants. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed. Data were analyzed thematically by using the different characteristics of the Job Demands Resources model. Working as a locum midwife is demanding for Dutch NQMs, due to a large number of working hours in different practices and a lack of job security. Decision-making and adapting to local guidelines and collaborations demand a high cognitive load. These aspects of the work context negatively impact NQMs’ work and private life. Working with clients and working autonomously motivates the newly graduates. Support from colleagues and peers are important job resources, although colleagues are also experienced as a job demand, due to their role as employer. Strictness in boundaries, flexibility and sense of perspective are NQMs’ personal resources. On the other hand, NQMs perceived perfectionism and the urge to prove oneself as personal demands.

Key conclusions and implications for practice
Dutch NQMs’ first years in primary midwifery care are perceived as highly demanding. In primary care, NQMs usually work as locum midwives, self-employed and in different practices. Working in different practices requires not only working with different client populations and autonomous decision-making, but also requires adaptation to different local working arrangements. Building adequate support systems might help NQMs finding a balance between work and private life by having experienced midwives available as mentors. Furthermore, training and coaching of NQMs help them to become aware of their personal resources and demands and to help them strengthen their personal resources. Improving NQMs’ working position through secure employments require changes in the organization of maternity care in the Netherlands.