Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Oral Histories of Nurse-Midwives in Georgia, 1970-1989: Blazing Trails, Building Fences, Raising Towers.

J Midwifery Womens Health. 2018 May 26. doi: 10.1111/jmwh.12744. [Epub ahead of print] Thrower EJB. Abstract INTRODUCTION: This article provides an account of the establishment and development of the contemporary nurse-midwifery profession in Georgia, which was previously undocumented. Oral history interviews with nurse-midwives who were in clinical and educational practice in Georgia during the 1970s and 1980s were collected and analyzed to identify factors that affected the establishment of nurse-midwifery in this state. METHODS: This study relied on historical methodology. Oral history interviews provided primary sources for analysis. Secondary sources included archives belonging to the narrators' nurse-midwifery services as well as scholarly and professional publications from 1923 to the present. Data were analyzed using Miller-Rosser and colleagues' method. RESULTS: In-depth interviews were conducted with 14 nurse-midwives who worked in clinical practice or education in Georgia in the 1970s and 1980s. The narrators' testimonies revealed facilitators for the establishment of nurse-midwifery in Georgia, including increasing access to care, providing woman-centered care, interprofessional relationships, and the support of peers. Resistance from the medical profession, financial constraints, and public misconceptions were identified as barriers for the profession. DISCUSSION: Oral histories in this study provided insight into the experiences of nurse-midwives in Georgia as they practiced and taught in the 1970s and 1980s. Interprofessional connections and cooperation supported the nurse-midwifery profession, and relationships with peers anchored the nurse-midwives. Mentoring relationships and interprofessional collaboration supported the nurse-midwives as they adapted and evolved to meet the needs of women in Georgia. © 2018 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. KEYWORDS: continuity of patient care; feminism; interviews; midwifery; midwifery history; oral history