Original Research

Using mobile phones and social media to facilitate education and support for rural-based midwives in South Africa

Jennifer Chipps, Christoph Pimmer, Petra Brysiewicz, Fiona Walters, Sebastian Linxen, Thandi Ndebele, Urs Gröhbiel
Curationis | Vol 38, No 2 | a1500 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v38i2.1500 | © 2015 Jennifer Chipps, Christoph Pimmer, Petra Brysiewicz, Fiona Walters, Sebastian Linxen, Thandi Ndebele, Urs Gröhbiel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 March 2015 | Published: 14 December 2015

About the author(s)

Jennifer Chipps, School of Nursing, University of the Western Cape, South Africa and Sydney Nursing School, University of Sydney, Australia
Christoph Pimmer, Institute for Information Systems, HSW, University of Applied Sciences and Arts North-Western Switzerland, Switzerland
Petra Brysiewicz, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Fiona Walters, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Sebastian Linxen, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Thandi Ndebele, Institute for Information Systems, HSW, University of Applied Sciences and Arts North-Western Switzerland,, Switzerland
Urs Gröhbiel, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Empirical studies show the value of mobile phones as effective educational tools to support learning in the nursing profession, predominantly in high income countries.

Problem statement: The rapidly increasing prevalence of mobile phone technology in Africa nourishes hopes that these tools could be equally effective in lowly resourced contexts, specifically in efforts to achieve the health-related Millennium Development goals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perception and use of mobile phones as educational and professional tools by nurses in lowly resourced settings.

Methodology: A quantitative survey using self-administered questionnaires was conducted of rural advanced midwives.

Results: Fifty-six nurses (49.6%) from the 113 rural-based midwives attending an advanced midwifery training programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, filled in a questionnaire. The results showed that, whilst nurses regarded their technology competences as low and although they received very little official support from their educational and professional institutions, the majority frequently used mobile functions and applications to support their work and learning processes. They perceived mobile devices with their voice, text, and email functions as important tools for the educational and professional activities of searching for information and engaging with facilitators and peers from work and study contexts. To a lesser extent, the use of social networks, such as WhatsApp and Facebook, were also reported.

Conclusion and recommendation: It is concluded that educational institutions should support the appropriate use of mobile phones more systematically; particularly in relation to the development of mobile network literacy skills.


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Crossref Citations

1. Instant messaging and nursing students' clinical learning experience
Christoph Pimmer, Florian Brühlmann, Titilayo Dorothy Odetola, Oluwafemi Dipeolu, Urs Gröhbiel, Ademola J. Ajuwon
Nurse Education Today  vol: 64  first page: 119  year: 2018  
doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2018.01.034