Although this technique was new to most of the midwives, it produced some really in-depth discussions and really pulled on the learning over the previous days of respectful care, and how that can be incorporated into practice, with our women, but also between each other. One midwife described how her staff were stressed and anxious due to the volume of work. She reflected that as a manager, she may be able to do more to support, and as a next step, was going to investigate a staff support WhatsApp group. She also identified that daily ‘huddles’ would help, and more praise towards each other during a difficult shift. This idea of respect between ourselves became a theme in all of the groups; many identifying that respectful care really starts with respect and care of ourselves, then replicated towards those we care for.
Many other experiences emerged in these discussions and while hearing the learning and joy from the other groups, the reflective practice workspace gave a quiet time and space to value each other, acknowledge that sometimes things are difficult at work, and to take time out to look back and learn. This quiet time was valued by the team and helped them make a conscious effort to look at clinical situations and examine own beliefs and values within the situation and to learn from the experiences.
The final station focused on respectful care. This centred around a scenario of a young woman attending for her first antenatal appointment, played by Alison. Jenny played the role of an exhausted midwife who had more than 40 people in the waiting area to be seen. Understaffed and fatigued, core aspects of respect became neglected from the midwife’s care. The team watched this scenario and then came together to reflect on what they had seen, and what could have been improved or changed. Themes of consent, privacy, dignity, and good communication were discussed. The midwives then selected one person from each team to act out the scenario again, this time ensuring respectful care. Before moving on to the next station the teams reflected on what ‘respectful care’ meant to them and wrote these ideas down on post it notes to add to our Respect wall later.