Alison Power

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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.


Alison studied for a BSc in Midwifery at Coventry University.

Alison is a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery and has been lecturing at the University since 2006. She completed a Masters in Practice Education (Distinction) and is currently studying for a Professional Doctorate within the School of Health.  Alison is the midwifery team’s representative on the School of Health Learning and Teaching Sub Group as well as their Service Users and Carers Representative.  She has a keen interest in innovative learning, teaching and assessment strategies, in particular the judicious use of simulated learning, Open Educational Resources, social media and apps in curriculum delivery to offer students a diverse range of learning opportunities.

Teaching Interests

Module Leader for the following modules:

  • Preparation for NMC Stage 4 Teacher Standard (MSc Advanced Professional Practice)
  • Essentials of Midwifery (BSc (Hons) Midwifery Studies)
  • The Science of Reproduction (BSc (Hons) Midwifery Studies)

Teaching on the following modules:

  • Research studies in midwifery (BSc (Hons) Midwifery Studies)
  • Advanced research studies in midwifery (BSc (Hons) Midwifery Studies)

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor, Coventry University

Master, University of Northampton


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