Professional development from the perspective of new-graduate physiotherapists within Australian hospital settings: A qualitative study
Keywords:physiotherapy, professional development, new graduate, hospital, interviews
Introduction: The transition from physiotherapy student to clinician within hospital settings has been identified as overwhelming, leaving new graduates experiencing significant anxiety and stress. Professional development plays a major role in facilitating the transition from student to clinician. However, the perceived professional development needs of new graduates in hospital settings and the factors that influence graduates’ decision-making regarding professional development remain relatively unknown. The aim of this study was to explore the professional development needs of new-graduate physiotherapists working in hospital settings and to explore graduates’ decision-making relating to engagement in professional development.
Methods: A qualitative study utilising a general inductive approach was undertaken to investigate new-graduate physiotherapists’ experiences. Telephone interviews were conducted with 15 new-graduate participants, and data were subject to thematic analysis.
Results: Five key themes regarding hospital-based new-graduate physiotherapists’ professional development needs and decision-making were generated following analysis: 1) practical and clinical relevance, 2) influence from external supports, 3) translation to practice, 4) accessing professional development and 5) professional development for the future. This provided insight regarding the challenges faced in accessing professional development during the transition from student to clinician.
Conclusions: This study has highlighted the complexity of new-graduate physiotherapists’ decision-making and perceived needs surrounding professional development within the hospital setting. New-graduate physiotherapists perceived that the hospital workplace provided sufficient resources for professional development. However, guidance from supervisors and colleagues within the hospital workplace was highly valued by new graduates when choosing professional development, including informal professional development opportunities. Research is needed to further understand the role of professional development of physiotherapists in hospital settings.
Ajjawi, R., & Higgs, J. (2008). Learning to reason: A journey of professional socialisation. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 13(2), 133–150. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-006-9032-4
Arkwright, L., Edgar, S., & Debenham, J. (2018). Exploring the job satisfaction and career progression of musculoskeletal physiotherapists working in private practice in Western Australia. Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, 35, 67–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msksp.2018.03.004
Atkinson, R., & McElroy, T. (2016). Preparedness for physiotherapy in private practice: Novices identify key factors in an interpretive description study. Manual Therapy, 22, 116–121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.math.2015.10.016
Australian Government. (2017). Physiotherapists: 2017 factsheet. https://hwd.health.gov.au/resources/publications/factsheet-alld-physiotherapists-2017.pdf
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). (2019). Continuing professional development. Retrieved June 16, 2021, from https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registration-Standards/CPD.aspx
Black, L. L., Jensen, G. M., Mostrom, E., Perkins, J., Ritzline, P. D., Hayward, L., & Blackmer, B. (2010). The first year of practice: An investigation of the professional learning and development of promising novice physical therapists. Physical Therapy, 90(12), 1758–1773. https://doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20100078
Carpenter, C., & Suto, M. (2008). Qualitative research for occupational and physical therapists: A practical guide. Wiley.
Chipchase, L. S., Johnston, V., & Long, P. D. (2012). Continuing professional development: The missing link. Manual Therapy, 17(1), 89–91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.math.2011.09.004
Chipchase, L. S., Williams, M. T., & Robertson, V. J. (2008). Preparedness of new graduate Australian physiotherapists in the use of electrophysical agents. Physiotherapy, 94(4), 274–280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2008.09.003
Cohen, N., & Arieli, T. (2011). Field research in conflict environments: Methodological challenges and snowball sampling. Journal of Peace Research, 48(4), 423–435. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343311405698
Davies, J. M., Edgar, S., & Debenham, J. (2016). A qualitative exploration of the factors influencing the job satisfaction and career development of physiotherapists in private practice. Manual Therapy, 25, 56–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.math.2016.06.001
Drude, K. P., Maheu, M., & Hilty, D. M. (2019). Continuing professional development: Reflections on a lifelong learning process. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 42(3), 447–461. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psc.2019.05.002
DuBois, C. A., & Zedreck-Gonzalez, J. P. (2018). Implementing a resilience-promoting education program for new nursing graduates. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 34(5), 263–269. https://doi.org/10.1097/NND.0000000000000484
Duchscher, J. B. (2008). A process of becoming: The stages of new nursing graduate professional role transition. Journal of Continuining Education in Nursing, 39(10), 441–450. https://doi.org/10.3928/00220124-20081001-03
Englander, M. (2016). The phenomenological method in qualitative psychology and psychiatry. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 11(1), Article 30682. https://doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v11.30682
Forbes, R., Lao, A., Wilesmith, S., & Martin, R. (2021). An exploration of workplace mentoring preferences of new-graduate physiotherapists within Australian practice. Physiotherapy Research International, 26(1), Article e1872. https://doi.org/10.1002/pri.1872
Grehan, J., Butler, M. L., Last, J., & Rainford, L. (2018). The introduction of mandatory CPD for newly state registered diagnostic radiographers: An Irish perspective. Radiography, 24(2), 115–121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radi.2017.09.007
Gunn, H., & Goding, L. (2009). Continuing professional development of physiotherapists based in community primary care trusts: A qualitative study investigating perceptions, experiences and outcomes. Physiotherapy, 95(3), 209–214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physio.2007.09.003
Hayward, L. M., Black, L. L., Mostrom, E., Jensen, G. M., Ritzline, P. D., & Perkins, J. (2013). The first two years of practice: A longitudinal perspective on the learning and professional development of promising novice physical therapists. Physical Therapy, 93(3), 369–383. https://doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20120214
Haywood, H., Pain, H., Ryan, S., & Adams, J. (2013). Continuing professional development: Issues raised by nurses and allied health professionals working in musculoskeletal settings. Musculoskeletal Care, 11(3), 136–144. https://doi.org/10.1002/msc.1033
Health Workforce Australia (HWA). (2014). Australia's health workforce series: Physiotherapists in focus. https://www.myhealthcareer.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2014-Physiotherapists-in-Focus.pdf
Hegney, D., Tuckett, A., Parker, D., & Robert, E. (2010). Access to and support for continuing professional education amongst Queensland nurses: 2004 and 2007. Nurse Education Today, 30(2), 142–149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2009.06.015
King, R., Taylor, B., Talpur, A., Jackson, C., Manley, K., Ashby, N., Tod, A., Ryan, T., Wood, E., Senek, M., & Robertson, S. (2021). Factors that optimise the impact of continuing professional development in nursing: A rapid evidence review. Nurse Education Today, 98, Article 104652. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2020.104652
Lao, A., Wilesmith, S., & Forbes, R. (2021). Exploring the workplace mentorship needs of new-graduate physiotherapists: A qualitative study. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2021.1917023
Laschinger, H. K. S., Finegan, J., & Wilk, P. (2009). New graduate burnout: The impact of professional practice environment, workplace civility, and empowerment. Nursing Economics, 27(6), 377–383.
Pettersson, A. F., Bolander Laksov, K., & Fjellström, M. (2015). Physiotherapists' stories about professional development. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 31(6), 396–402.
Physiotherapy Board Registration Standards. (2015). Guidelines: Continuing professional development. https://www.physiotherapyboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines/FAQ/CPD-resources.aspx
Smith, J. A., & Osborn, M. (2015). Interpretative phenomenological analysis as a useful methodology for research on the lived experience of pain. British Journal of Pain, 9(1), 41–42. https://doi.org/10.1177/2049463714541642
Stoikov, S., Gooding, M., Shardlow, K., Maxwell, L., Butler, J., & Kuys, S. (2021). Changes in direct patient care from physiotherapy student to new graduate. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 37(2), 323–330. https://doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2019.1628138
Stoikov, S., Maxwell, L., Butler, J., Shardlow, K., Gooding, M., & Kuys, S. (2020). The transition from physiotherapy student to new graduate: Are they prepared? Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 38(1), 101–111. https://doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2020.1744206
Sturges, J. E., & Hanrahan, K. J. (2004). Comparing telephone and face-to-face qualitative interviewing: A research note. Qualitative Research, 4(1), 107–118. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794104041110
Summers, A. (2015). Continuing professional development in Australia: Barriers and support. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 46(8), 337–339. https://doi.org/10.3928/00220124-20150721-11
Thomas, D. R. (2006). A general inductive approach for analyzing qualitative evaluation data. American Journal of Evaluation, 27(2), 237–246. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214005283748
Turpin, M., Fitzgerald, C., Copley, J., Laracy, S., & Lewis, B. (2021). Experiences of and support for the transition to practice of newly graduated occupational therapists undertaking a hospital graduate program. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 68(1), 12–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1630.12693
Victorian Government. (2016). Victorian Allied Health Workforce Research Program: Physiotherapy workforce report. https://www.health.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/migrated/files/collections/research-and-reports/v/victorian-allied-health-workforce-project-2016/physiotherapy-workforce-report.pdf
Walker, A., & Costa, B. M. (2017). Transition into the workplace: Comparing health graduates’ and organisational perspectives. Contemporary Nurse, 53(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/10376178.2016.1254050
Welp, A., Johnson, A., Nguyen, H., & Perry, L. (2018). The importance of reflecting on practice: How personal professional development activities affect perceived teamwork and performance. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(21–22), 3988–3999. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14519
Zou, Y., Almond, A., & Forbes, R. (2021). Exploring the professional development needs and decision-making of new graduate physiotherapists within Australian private practice settings. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/09593985.2021.2007559
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
On acceptance for publication in FoHPE the copyright of the manuscript is signed over to ANZAHPE, the publisher of FoHPE.