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Karen Khan

PhD student

Karen Khan

Research title: The ‘silent workforce’: Using the voices of student midwives to explore midwives understanding of the influence of organisational culture on decision-making and patient safety

Supervisors: Professor Mohammed Mohammed and Dr Mel Cooper

My clinical background is in both adult nursing and midwifery. I am a lecturer in the School of Midwifery and Reproductive Health.  I have worked in higher education for the past 12 years. My move to the University of Bradford in 2014 has enabled me to pursue my research career through a PhD.  My areas of interest are patient safety, candour and care ethics in health care.

My PhD question was in part, inspired by the pre-registration midwifery students I teach. Their reflective accounts of practice experiences suggest midwives may be taking unnecessary risks while care planning and that cultural issues such as staffing and time pressures influence the decision making process. The student voice is absent from many of the recent reviews of maternity services, despite students being key frontline workers that contribute to patient care and safety. My study aims to capture student and mentor experiences to support the exploration of perceptions and understanding of the quality of risk assessment and care planning and the influence of organisational culture on this process.

Stage one of my project will explore the following project aim: To establish midwives’ perceptions of the role of ‘supervision’ in supporting a culture of learning and patient safety.