Iris Mukkavaara receive the scholarship for Academic ceremony. Photo: Leif Nyberg

Master thesis praised for improvement

Published: 12 November 2014

Iris Mukkavaara assigned during the Academic ceremony the county council's annual scholarship in memory of Elisabeth Holmgren. Her master thesis on young women's experiences of undergoing an abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy has resulted in a major change in the workingprocess.

– I had the honor to meet Elizabeth Holmgren and share her passion for improvement, so to accept the award feels incredibly flattering.

Iris Mukkavaara, nurse and unit manager in Norrbotten County Council, studied in 2006 a separate course in nursing when she wrote her master's thesis. She also worked as a nurse at the gynecologist department and handled many abortions. The staff group wondered how the patients felt and Iris discovered that there was much research done on early abortions. She decided to go ahead and do interviews with those who have been pregnant longer.

– Without Kerstin Öhrling, my supervisor at Luleå University of Technology, and my management team at the time with care manager Kerstin Nyberg I had quit writing my master thesis. They were very important motors and pushed me to keep on working.

Process of change gave good results

Thanks to Iris master thesis and hard work by Kerstin Nyberg, the work process on the gyn reception has improved. Nowadays, one midwife is carrying out the whole abortion process, from phone calls to office visits and follow-up including contraceptive advice. The result of a coherent process contributes to good nursing care with high patient safety, high availability and continuity.

– Midwives have received training and the patients are satisfied, and as a side effect has lote of medical times been redundant to patients who need doctors, continue Iris Mukkavaara.

In Sweden, several hospitals worked after this model and in Norrbotten Sunderby hospital was the first to change the workinig process. A few years later the approach was established in hospitals in Piteå, Gällivare and Kiruna.

The nomination:

Iris has in her master thesis interviewed young women about their experiences of undergoing an abortion after pregnancy week 12. The work showed that there were opportunities for improvement in terms of continuity, information and professional care / treatment. The results of the interviews were used in the further development of abortion counseling, availability, and local procedures. One nurse is now in charge of handling the whole abortion process, from phone calls to office visits and follow-up including contraceptive advice. The cohesive process contributes to good nursing care with high patient safety, high availability and continuity.

Her master thesis has been revised to an article and published in a scientific journal.

Iris's work has both a clinical and theoretical relevance and show the importance of a collaboration between county councils and universities.