Ethnography of technological competence in clinical midwifery practice

Kenda Crozier, Marlene Sinclair, W. George Kernohan, Sam Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


Background. Concept analysis has identified three domains in the competent use of birth technology - interpersonal skills, professional knowledge and clinical proficiency - and tentative criteria for birth technology competence. Aim. Fieldwork was undertaken to observe, confirm and explore pre-defined attributes of birth technology competence. Method. The Swartz-Barcott and Kim (2000) hybrid model of concept development was expanded to include an ethnographic observation of theory in action. Findings. Key attributes of birth technology competence found in 'real-world' midwifery practice were skills in using the machines, decision-making and traditional midwifery skills. Conclusions. The confusion surrounding the use of technology in midwifery practice needs to be addressed by both professionals and educationalists. Midwives should be taught to value traditional midwifery skills alongside those of machine skills. The identification of a model of appropriate technology use is needed in midwifery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalEvidence Based Midwifery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Jun 2007


  • Birth technology competence
  • Concept development
  • Ethnography
  • Midwifery practice


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