The value of continuing professional development: A realistic evaluation of a multi-disciplinary workshop for health visitors dealing with children with complex needs

Alison Steven, Val Larkin, Jane Stewart, Belinda Bateman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Continuing Professional Development is important for maintaining and developing knowledge and skills. Evidence regarding direct impact on practice is limited. Existing literature often lacks sufficient detail regarding the initiative or its evaluation, making transferability problematic.
Objective: To explore the impact and perceived value of multi-disciplinary Continuing Professional Development workshops for Health Visitors who support families with children with complex health needs.
Design: Realistic Evaluation principles guided the research. Workshop attendees were invited to participate (n.21), 81% (n.17) agreed. Data collection included a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and qualitative thematic analysis.
Setting: One North of England Health Service Trust.
Findings: Interrelated temporal themes emerged. Before the workshop expectations included, uncertainty regarding content and ambiguity regarding attendance. During workshops comments focused on networking opportunities, the detail, content and facilitation of the learning experience. ‘Emotional safety’ enabled interaction, sharing and absorption of information, and potentially increased trust, confidence and social capital. Participants viewed the workshop as informative, enhancing insight regarding roles, services and processes. Post-workshop participants reported examples of practice enhancements attributed to workshop attendance including: confidence building; improved team working; facilitation of early referral and accessing additional support for families.
Conclusions: Findings suggest initiative developers aiming CPD at new or existing teams need to consider nurturing social capital and to pay attention to the context and mechanisms, which can prompt attendance, engagement and subsequent practice application.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume67
Early online date21 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

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