Occupational therapist managers’ perceptions of the impact of continued professional development activities on their staff’s clinical competence/ [thesis] by Fidelma Shortall

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/95646
Title:
Occupational therapist managers’ perceptions of the impact of continued professional development activities on their staff’s clinical competence/ [thesis] by Fidelma Shortall
Other Titles:
Submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Health Services Management at Trinity College Dublin
Authors:
Shortall, Fidelma
Affiliation:
Health Service Executive (HSE)
Publisher:
University of Dublin (Trinity College)
Issue Date:
Sep-2008
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/95646
Item Type:
Report
Language:
en
Description:
This study is set against the background of the establishment of the Health & Social Care Professionals Council, whose function it is to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct, education and competence. Unlike medical professions in Ireland, there is no standardised competency based framework from which to evaluate practitioners’ fitness to practice. It is envisaged that the Council will place an onus on occupational therapists to demonstrate their engagement in CPD activities and competence to practice as part of the incoming state registration for occupational therapists. Research indicates that occupational therapist managers support staff engagement in CPD activities, but it is unknown whether occupational therapist managers perceive this engagement in CPD activities to impact on their staffs’ clinical competence. Thus in the context of the Irish healthcare system, the objectives of this study are:  To understand if occupational therapist managers believe that engagement in CPD activities materialises in new clinical skills, which enhance clinical competence, and if not why not.  To explore the availability and frequency with which staff engage in CPD activities.  To explore and compare the availability of organisational supports within the HSE, voluntary organisations and private services.  To explore methods of monitoring and assessing competence. Methodology This study adopted a mixed method research approach using a sequential design. It incorporated an exploratory qualitative focus group from which a quantitative survey instrument was developed and circulated to occupational therapist managers nationally. The sample population (n=98) consisted of members of the National Occupational Therapist Managers Group. Fifty six responses were received from therapists working in the HSE and voluntary organisations, yielding a 57% response rate. iii iv Findings & Conclusions Qualitative findings suggest that there is a good understanding of the relationship between CPD and competence. Respondents rated formal CPD activities (e.g. attending lecturers, post-graduate education) as superior to informal CPD activities (e.g. on-the-spot demonstration, shadowing), but they reported that staff engaged in informal CPD activities more frequently than formal activities, and they perceived these informal activities to be more effective than formal activities. Activities which were perceived to be very effective in enhancing staff members’ clinical competence included: education of students, information sharing, on-the-spot demonstrations and professional conversations with colleagues. Journal clubs and attending lecturers were perceived to be the least effective CPD activities. Engagement in CPD activities which may be beyond the learning capacity or scope of practice for the staff member were not supported, nor were those which qualified staff to pursue other career paths. 88% of respondents agreed that the organisation has a role to play in supporting OTs to engage in CPD activities. There was a discrepancy between the supports available to services within the HSE and voluntary organisations. HSE services had greater access to a training budget on request and access to external supervision, while voluntary organisations had greater access to a dedicated annual training budget and an in-service co-ordinator. No responses were received from private organisations. The findings indicate that the majority of respondents value and facilitate regular supervision as a CPD activity and as a means of assessing competency. The majority of respondents would welcome a national competency assessment tool, to assist in evaluating staffs clinical practice. This revelation supports the need to explore standardised assessment tools and in view of imminent state registration. While, presenting real challenges, it should be possible to develop a framework that through its focus on learning achievements enables individuals to pursue their lifelong learning, whilst meeting external expectations to demonstrate their competence.
Keywords:
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS; EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND SKILLS; PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE; OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorShortall, Fidelmaen
dc.date.accessioned2010-04-06T10:27:37Z-
dc.date.available2010-04-06T10:27:37Z-
dc.date.issued2008-09-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/95646-
dc.descriptionThis study is set against the background of the establishment of the Health & Social Care Professionals Council, whose function it is to protect the public by promoting high standards of professional conduct, education and competence. Unlike medical professions in Ireland, there is no standardised competency based framework from which to evaluate practitioners’ fitness to practice. It is envisaged that the Council will place an onus on occupational therapists to demonstrate their engagement in CPD activities and competence to practice as part of the incoming state registration for occupational therapists. Research indicates that occupational therapist managers support staff engagement in CPD activities, but it is unknown whether occupational therapist managers perceive this engagement in CPD activities to impact on their staffs’ clinical competence. Thus in the context of the Irish healthcare system, the objectives of this study are:  To understand if occupational therapist managers believe that engagement in CPD activities materialises in new clinical skills, which enhance clinical competence, and if not why not.  To explore the availability and frequency with which staff engage in CPD activities.  To explore and compare the availability of organisational supports within the HSE, voluntary organisations and private services.  To explore methods of monitoring and assessing competence. Methodology This study adopted a mixed method research approach using a sequential design. It incorporated an exploratory qualitative focus group from which a quantitative survey instrument was developed and circulated to occupational therapist managers nationally. The sample population (n=98) consisted of members of the National Occupational Therapist Managers Group. Fifty six responses were received from therapists working in the HSE and voluntary organisations, yielding a 57% response rate. iii iv Findings & Conclusions Qualitative findings suggest that there is a good understanding of the relationship between CPD and competence. Respondents rated formal CPD activities (e.g. attending lecturers, post-graduate education) as superior to informal CPD activities (e.g. on-the-spot demonstration, shadowing), but they reported that staff engaged in informal CPD activities more frequently than formal activities, and they perceived these informal activities to be more effective than formal activities. Activities which were perceived to be very effective in enhancing staff members’ clinical competence included: education of students, information sharing, on-the-spot demonstrations and professional conversations with colleagues. Journal clubs and attending lecturers were perceived to be the least effective CPD activities. Engagement in CPD activities which may be beyond the learning capacity or scope of practice for the staff member were not supported, nor were those which qualified staff to pursue other career paths. 88% of respondents agreed that the organisation has a role to play in supporting OTs to engage in CPD activities. There was a discrepancy between the supports available to services within the HSE and voluntary organisations. HSE services had greater access to a training budget on request and access to external supervision, while voluntary organisations had greater access to a dedicated annual training budget and an in-service co-ordinator. No responses were received from private organisations. The findings indicate that the majority of respondents value and facilitate regular supervision as a CPD activity and as a means of assessing competency. The majority of respondents would welcome a national competency assessment tool, to assist in evaluating staffs clinical practice. This revelation supports the need to explore standardised assessment tools and in view of imminent state registration. While, presenting real challenges, it should be possible to develop a framework that through its focus on learning achievements enables individuals to pursue their lifelong learning, whilst meeting external expectations to demonstrate their competence.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherUniversity of Dublin (Trinity College)en
dc.subjectOCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTSen
dc.subjectEDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND SKILLSen
dc.subjectPROFESSIONAL COMPETENCEen
dc.subjectOCCUPATIONAL THERAPYen
dc.titleOccupational therapist managers’ perceptions of the impact of continued professional development activities on their staff’s clinical competence/ [thesis] by Fidelma Shortallen
dc.title.alternativeSubmitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Health Services Management at Trinity College Dublinen
dc.typeReporten
dc.contributor.departmentHealth Service Executive (HSE)en
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