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Exploring future health workforce educational needs: a qualitative investigation

Authors Mickan S, Golenko X, Buys N

Received 10 April 2019

Accepted for publication 7 June 2019

Published 5 July 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 527—532


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Video abstract presented by Sharon Mickan.

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Sharon Mickan, Xanthe Golenko, Nicholas Buys

Griffith Health, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland 4222, Australia

Objective: Given the predicted changes ahead for both healthcare and educational systems, this study was designed to explore perspectives of senior health clinicians and academics about the educational needs of the future health workforce. Participants were asked about how universities could best provide post-qualification education to enable current and future health professionals to meet changing workplace demands and expectations.
Methods: An exploratory study was conducted across academic and clinical settings in Queensland. A convenience sample of 12 senior academic and clinical managers participated in semi-structured, discursive interviews. Data were coded and categorised into emergent themes with verification by the first two authors.
Results: Participants described and critiqued current patterns of learning by health professionals, including completion of traditional postgraduate degrees and professional development courses. They suggested innovative approaches for future education, proposing that learning should be aligned with practice needs and made available through flexible and connected learning opportunities. Further, they were of the view that workplace learning should be recognised academically through arrangements such as credit for prior learning.
Conclusions: Participants concluded that universities have an important role, in partnership with key stakeholders, to educate health professionals to be able to meet the needs of changing workplace demands and expectations.

Keywords: professional development, postgraduate education, lifelong learning

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