Research Paper on the Shortage of Midwives in Saudi Arabia

5 pages
1176 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Course work
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Experience in Relation to the Research Topic

The problem I am researching pertains to the shortage of midwives in Saudi Arabia and the need for introducing midwifery education in Saudi Arabia. The topic is of interest because I am a nurse midwife and a graduate with a master degree in obstetric and gynecological nursing. Also, I have worked with midwives who have a diploma, having attained it after a two-year program after completing high school. Having worked with the midwives for a while, I have noticed that they have less knowledge about midwifery, and thus, they have low-performance level, which has been evidenced by the numerous mistakes they make while helping mothers to deliver. These mistakes could adversely affect the mother, as well as the baby, and thus, noting these mistakes, I believe there should be a change in the future pertaining to how midwifery education is offered.

In essence, I have evaluated their work performance and competency in the midwifery sector and concluded that it is of low quality. In fact, I spoke to many of them personally, and they opine that they have no opportunity in improving their skills and knowledge primarily because they cannot advance their education after completing the two-year midwifery program after high school as there is no bachelor degree program for midwifery in Saudi Arabia. As such, they have no chance of advancing their education and career. For this reason, as I have noted the challenges they face, this motivated me to conduct the study.

How Experience with the Research Might Change what I Hear, Read, Observe or Collect from Participants

My experience of what I see, hear, observe, read and collect in the study can be of positive effect by providing the perspectives of participants. Even though making change is difficult, I think it is worth the try in changing the education leaders perspectives and views to this problem. By recommending a new bachelors curriculum is vital in eliminating the shortage of midwives in Saudi Arabia. In fact, I am of the opinion that the nurse-midwife graduate can work in all nursing departments at the hospital and obstetrics and gynecology sectors with high quality and efficiency. For this reason, developing curriculum for nurse midwife as an effective investment to improve quality of patient care. I have noted that most of the higher education leaders do not have adequate knowledge about the problem. The leaders argue that the midwives are not nurses, and thus, they cannot cover the nurses shortage in other hospital areas if required. In effect, they adopt practices that may further worsen the problem as they plan to produce more general nurses to cover this deficit and forget about midwives. However, this plan is not effective because general nurses do not have adequate knowledge of being excellent midwives. Therefore, I believe that the nurses can cover the places of midwives after having some midwifery training after graduating with a bachelors degree, particularly in midwifery. I do not think that the general nurses have the capacity, the skills, and knowledge of midwives, and thus, the can end up exacerbating the problem when they make multiple errors. Essentially, this could be risky to the mother and the baby if they are not taken care of well. As such, even though I think that bringing in graduate nurses to be midwives can be true to some extent, it cannot be the solution to the midwifery problem in Saudi Arabia. Ideally, since I have interacted with general nurses, I believe that they cannot provide high-quality care in comparison to a midwife academic graduate, who in my opinion will have the complete skill set. Besides, introducing the midwifery bachelors degree in the country will eliminate the shortage as more midwives will be available. Also, the Saudi Arabia healthcare system, which is mainly staffed by health professionals recruited from other countries, will receive a huge boost once students graduate with midwifery degree. As such, my experience will be very beneficial and will recommend practical aspects that can be implemented in the education system in Saudi Arabia.

Data Collection

My role is collecting relevant data for the study. I will collect data government hospitals that specialize in providing maternity services, particularly in Al-Ahsa province, as well as the college for applied medical sciences located in King Faisal University, King Abdulaziz University, as well as the University of Dammam. The participants I will select include key people in the ministry of health, health colleges, as well as Saudi midwives who work in maternity hospitals, specifically in the Al-Ahsa province. In collecting data, I will use questionnaires that mainly has open-ended questions, and I will focus on acquiring data through group discussion. However, I will also acquire data from secondary sources, such as health ministry reports about childbirths and mortality, as well as from existing databases in maternity and children hospitals within the province. The group discussions will mainly involve key informants, for example, managers from the ministry of health. Secondary research articles will also be helpful in harnessing research about midwifery, as well as the gaps in research.

Dealing with Bias

Confirmation bias is common and occurs when researchers form a predetermined belief and use the information provided by the participants to confirm that belief (Klayman, 1995), and I can eliminate it by making continuous re-evaluations about the impressions and assertions they make. I will also challenge preexisting assumptions of the research. I will not use leading questions and will ensure that the participants express their thoughts and reactions. There is also no need to summarize what the participants say in my own words, instead of their words (Pannucci & Wilkins, 2010). To avoid respondent selection bias, I will also ensure that the participants are selected randomly. In case of ambiguities, I will ensure that the respondent provides additional information.

Insider/Outsider Researcher

I will be an insider in the research, who according to Irvine, Roberts, and Bradbury-Jones (2008), refers to as a researcher who shares a common language and culture with the research participants. An outsider, as the researchers articulate is a researcher who does not share these aspects with the participants. For this reason, being a Saudi, I share a common culture and language, and this, consider myself as an insider. In effect, this will subsequently make the research process easier. Besides, Irvine et al. (2008) argue that when a researcher enjoys a linguistic and cultural concordance with the research participants, it guarantees vigor in conducting the research. It would be easier to interpret the data, as well as capturing it. For this reason, being an insider will help conduct the research easily as I will have no cultural and language obstacles.



Irvine, F., Roberts, G., & Bradbury-Jones, C. (2008). The researcher as insider versus the researcher as outsider: Enhancing rigour through language and cultural sensitivity. Doing cross-cultural research, 35-48.

Klayman, J. (1995). Varieties of confirmation bias. Psychology of learning and motivation, 32, 385-418.

Pannucci, C. J., & Wilkins, E. G. (2010). Identifying and avoiding bias in research. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 126(2), 619. doi:10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181de24bc


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