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Personal profile

Research Interests

Alison’s Masters dissertation was a primary research study which explored second year student midwives’ experiences of the management of obstetric emergencies in three settings: the clinical area as junior students, a simulated learning environment and in the clinical area as senior students.  The study examined the relationship between theoretical input and clinical experiences to assess how effective simulated learning is in bridging the theory-practice gap. Findings suggest that effective simulated learning for the management of obstetric emergencies, underpinned by current evidence and facilitated by expert Clinicians and Academics, can bridge the theory-practice gap and develop students’ competence and confidence to meet NMC Standards on registration (NMC, 2009).  In order to further develop and improve its contribution to the learning experience students identified a number of areas for improvement, namely ensuring the learning environment is authentic, relevant and practice-focused; equipment is realistic, up-to-date and fit for purpose; sessions are facilitated collaboratively between the University and Clinical Placement Provider to offer research-based, professionally credible education. 

Recommendations from the study include the need for greater support for junior students in the clinical area; the introduction of regular reflection and debriefing sessions in the clinical area; peer deliberation during theoretical block weeks to allow students to discuss clinical experiences, thereby promoting shared learning.  It was also suggested that students would benefit from a programme of simulated learning sessions in a midwifery specific Clinical Skills Laboratory covering all aspects of practice from basic clinical skills to the management of obstetric emergencies.  Flexibility in terms of who should attend the sessions was deemed to be key, providing students with the opportunity to learn with their peers and/or students from all stages of training, bringing a range of clinical experiences and competencies to share and reflect on as a group.  This initiative could also be an opportunity to promote interprofessional learning as students such as paramedics or drama students could be invited to take part in sessions identified as appropriate for collaborative learning.

The study identified a number of areas for future research studies including a follow up study to evaluate students’ experiences post qualification with regards managing obstetric emergencies to analyse the impact of simulated learning on their confidence in autonomous practice; a study of mentors’ and student midwives’ assessment of clinical competence and confidence as a result of embedding clinical skills in a spiral curriculum.

Alison’s Doctoral thesis explores student midwives’ construct of resilience.

Biography

Alison studied for a Master of Professional Practice and an MSc in Practice Education at the University of Northampton and a BSc in Midwifery at Coventry University.

Alison is an Associate Professor in Learning and Teaching and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).  She is an Academic Integrity Officer for the Faculty and has recently joined UON’s C@N-DO Review Panel.  

She is a Board Member of the Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE), a UK-based charity which promotes and develops interprofessional education (IPE), research, learning and practice nationally and globally.  She also co-leads its IPE Experience Research Subgroup.  She is an Editorial Board Member of the British Journal of Midwifery; a member of the International Network for Health Workforce Education (INHWE) and an Associate Member of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).

She has Teacher Status on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register and has a particular interest in Interprofessional Education (IPE).  As Faculty Lead for IPE she co-ordinates the IPE ‘collaborative curriculum’ for 16 health, education and social care programmes.  She champions the judicious use of technology in learning and teaching and has presented internationally on the University’s Active Blended Learning (ABL) pedagogical approach.

Teaching Interests

Module Leader for the following modules:

  • MID3026 Becoming a Midwife (level 6)

    MID1028 Scholarly Practice in Midwifery (level 4)

Teaching on:

  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery 3-year full time programme
  • Dissertation Supervision MSc Professional Project
  • Academic Assessor

Education/Academic qualification

Unknown, MPhil, University of Northampton

2011 → …

Award Date: 10 Feb 2016

Bachelor, Coventry University

Master, University of Northampton

External positions

Board Member, Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE)

2021 → …

Co-Lead Research Subgroup, Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE)

2021 → …

Editorial Board Member, British Journal of Midwifery

2019 → …

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