Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Nursing

Supervisor

Dr. Babenko-Mould, Yolanda

Abstract

In Rwanda, the provision of maternal and child health care is often hindered by gaps in health care providers’ (HCP) knowledge and skills, and the management of pregnancy-related complications in health facilities. These factors contribute to maternal and child mortality rates (MMR). To help respond to the gaps, the Training Support and Access Model (TSAM) project implemented a practice-based clinical mentorship program (CMP) in the Northern and Southern provinces of Rwanda that involved mentors supporting mentees’ professional development to strengthen nurses’ and midwives’ capacity to provide knowledgeable maternal and child health care.

This qualitative descriptive study aimed to explore nurses’ and midwives’ experiences as mentors in this CMP. Fifteen mentors were purposefully sampled from a population of 60 mentors. Individual interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. Five themes emerged from the analysis: 1) Mentors collaborating in teams; 2) Facilitating the mentorship process; 3) Mentors’ perceptions of their role in the TSAM CMP 4) Challenges encountered by mentors in the TSAM CMP, and 5) Mentors’ recommendations to support future mentor engagement. Findings highlighted the importance of team collaboration which improved the quality of care provided and patient health outcomes, however, some challenges were encountered suggesting that an improvement in the MP plans could further enhance mentors’ experiences and ultimately, mentees’ knowledge and skill development.

Keywords: Mentor, mentorship, nurse, midwife, nursing and midwifery education, Rwanda.

Summary for Lay Audience

The majority of pregnancy and birth-related deaths occur in developing countries, with a large proportion of these deaths occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa. Rwanda is a developing country centrally located in Sub-Saharan Africa which has made great strides in reducing maternal and child mortality rates, however, despite these achievements, the number of maternal and child deaths remains high. Largely, these deaths can be attributed to the lack of adequate knowledge and skills in the management of pregnancy-related complications, and the limited opportunities available to health care providers, especially nurses and midwives to upgrade their competencies.

It is within this context that the Training Support and Access Model (TSAM) for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) project in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) aimed to reinforce capacity-building efforts for health care professionals (HCP), including nurses and midwives. By closing the gap through a practice-based clinical mentorship program (CMP) in select district hospitals (DH), it was anticipated by TSAM that nurse and midwife mentors would enhance their knowledge and skills, as well as those of their mentees to ultimately reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity rates.

This descriptive qualitative study was conducted as a means to understand the experiences of nurse and midwife mentors engaged in the TSAM CMP in Rwanda. Fifteen nurses and midwives participated in one-on-one semi-structured interviews. Five themes emerged: mentors collaborating in teams, facilitating the mentorship process, mentors’ perceptions of their role in the TSAM CMP, challenges encountered by mentors in the TSAM CMP, and mentors’ recommendations to support future mentor engagement. Findings highlighted the importance of team collaboration which improved the quality of

care provided to patients and contributed to their positive health outcomes. However, some challenges were encountered suggesting that an improvement in the MP plans could further enhance mentors’ experiences and ultimately, mentees’ knowledge and skill development. The findings serve to inform the TSAM MNCH project, while more broadly the benefits of CMPs can help shape clinical practice, the curriculum of pre-service and in-service education, and policies around professional development activities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Saturday, September 18, 2021

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