A description of nurse and midwifery educators' self-direction in learning in Lesetho
Ramokhitli, Maseisa Jane
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It is crucial to describe self-direction of nurse and midwifery educators in learning in Lesotho - especially now that Lesotho nurses training institutions have moved from content-based curricula to competency-based curricula. The description of their selfdirection will help in making recommendations for support and maintenance of the curriculum. Lesotho educators changed the content curriculum to competency-based curricula to satisfy the Nurses and Midwives strategic plan of the Ministry of Health, which indicates that nurses need to have various skills to function independently in hard-to-reach areas of Lesotho, where other health professionals are few. The research question was: To what extent do nurse and midwifery educators in Lesotho have self-direction in learning? The study answered the question and the recommendations were made based on the study results. The measurement tool used was the Personal Responsibility Orientation-Self-Directed Learning Scale adopted and adapted. In measuring self-direction, two components and their factors were determined, namely self-development: preparedness to implement, which was adapted and originally phrased as 'professional development: preparedness to implement'. Another factor was the educators' characteristic component. The design of the study comprised a quantitative cross-sectional descriptive design. The design allowed the researcher to collect objective numerical data based on components mentioned as well as their context. The population of the study involved 75 nurse and midwifery educators from all six nurses training institutions in Lesotho offering the Diploma in General Nursing, Diploma in Midwifery and the Bachelor's Degree in General Nursing and Midwifery. No sampling was done, meaning all 75 were eligible to participate but only 62 completed the questionnaire. A pilot study was done initially at one institution with a small number of educators. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Free State, the Lesotho Ministry of Health, the Christian Health Association of Lesotho, as well as individual nurses training institutions. The respondents were issued an information leaflet, and on acceptance to participate, the selfadministered questionnaire was given to respondents by the fieldworkers. Coding of the questionnaires was done, after which data was captured and verified. Analysis was done by a biostatistician from the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Free State. The spreadsheet was used, where numerical variables were summarised. Categorical variables were summarised by frequencies and percentiles. Validity and reliability were ensured by employing experts in the field of higher education to ensure face validity by checking that the questionnaire measured what it was intended to measure. Adaption of the questionnaire by changing the word 'students' to 'educators' was done by a committee of experts. Reliability was not threatened because respondents completed similar questionnaires. Educators' self-direction was 82.40% and was excellent according to the scale.