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Midwifery Student Retention – the critical months

By Neil Stewart, Editorial Director, MATFLIX

Midwifery Student Retention – the critical months

These are critical months for midwifery student retention.   As year-end approaches, among challenging news headlines and serious morale issues in the profession, what can we do to lift engagement and motivate staff and students to stay and refresh?

Student engagement and retention are reported as principal reasons for the increase in university subscriptions to MATFLIX – the video box sets from maternity experts originally designed for statutory midwifery revalidation.

The battle to retain students and give them the motivation and confidence to go into practice has never been more challenging.  Schools of midwifery are looking for new ways and new material to engage and motivate students and we have been delighted by the feedback on MATFLIX.

For lecturers, the topic specific box sets are popular because they provide manageable and stimulating viewing for students and save lecturers’ time in selecting videos, preparing research indexes, reading lists or reflective questions because these are already set up as part of the box set by editor Dr Jenny Hall, a midwifery lecturer and former editor of The Practising Midwife.

This expansion of MATFLIX’s use has been helped by the Maternity and Midwifery Forum completing the process of building into MATFLIX OpenAthens, UK Federations and EduGain access systems used by university and hospital trust websites to provide easy free access for staff and students.  This gives them access to the most up to date box sets and a back catalogue of 1000 video lectures from maternity experts for teaching, training, refresher courses and for midwifery staff revalidation.

The coming months are regarded as crucial in persuading midwifery students having doubts to be confident and go on into practice and the profession.  Reducing the number who complete the degree but go no further is seen as critical to meeting future NHS staffing levels.

The strains and disruptions of the past two years have also had their impact on engaging students and shown the value of online, easily accessible video in student friendly formats to add to the teaching mix.

This week sees the University of Cumbria, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Central Lancashire, University of Chester and All4Maternity Leadership Programme all coming on board to join Dundalk Institute of Technology, The University of the West of England and other schools already on the system to experience what MATFLIX has to offer.

With a new box set coming out every week and video releases from the Maternity and Midwifery Hour weekly programme, MATFLIX will be adding over 200 new lectures and presentations this year – all material to add to your website and tweet to students on a regular basis.

If you would like more information on how to get your university, college, trust or organisation an institutional licence/subscription to MATFLIX giving staff and students easy access to pre prepared, trusted content, contact Karen Stewart at [email protected].

Or take a look at this free box set on midwifery around the world.  Improving Care in Global Settings

Neil Stewart

Editorial Director

Maternity and Midwifery Forum