Exploring knowledge landscapes: A narrative inquiry of midwives’ experiences of working in diverse settings in Ghana

Evelyn Asamoah Ampofo, Vera Caine, Jean D. Clandinin


Objective: This paper focuses on exploring the experiences of midwives in Ghana who have worked in diverse settings over time. It explores how midwives’ personal experiences across time, place and in diverse contexts impact their care for women during childbirth. The paper describes the forms of knowledge held by midwives. It presents how the experiences of midwives reflect their professional and personal practical knowledge landscape.

Methods: Using narrative inquiry, the experiences of four midwives working in private maternity homes were explored. Being guided by the three-dimensional narrative inquiry space of temporality, sociality and place, and the concept of relational ethics, a meaningful relationship was built with participants over a period of five months. Several tape-recorded conversations were held with each participant, multiple other interactions were recorded as field notes and in a journal. Each tape-recorded conversation was transcribed and used to construct narrative accounts that reflected participants’ experiences as lived and told. Interim narrative accounts were shared with participants to ensure that the accounts reflected their experiences. Analysis: To identify resonant threads across all four narrative accounts, each account was read multiple times with intentionality and with the research objectives in mind.

Results: Three distinct professional knowledge landscapes for midwives were identified. These were the professional knowledge landscape of working in rural communities, urban communities, and private maternity homes. Two concepts of knowledge: knowledge for midwives and midwives’ knowledge, were identified on each of these professional knowledge landscapes.

Conclusions: Education of midwives should consciously take into consideration the different knowledge landscapes in which midwives in Ghana practice.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v9n8p36

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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