Supporting the development of skills for extended practice in biomedical science – pasta, vegetables and mushy peas!
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AbstractPurpose- Continual professional development is essential to foster and enhance professionals’ abilities. A wide variety of methods have been adopted to support professional learning for healthcare professions but many still focus upon a need to update knowledge and the learning of isolated competencies for practice. This paper reports upon a collaborative partnership that enabled the reframing of a professional development course away from this objectivist epistemology to foster pedagogically appropriate approaches nurturing the development of the knowledge and skills required for extended practice in specimen dissection. Design/Methodology/Approach – An action research approach informed this study which drew upon aspects of simulated learning, ‘creative play’ and ‘hands-on’ practice to nurture development of the knowledge and mastery of essential skills required for extended practice in dissection. A questionnaire allowed the gathering of quantitative and qualitative data from delegates. Open coding of delegate free text responses enabled thematic analysis of the data. Findings – Delegates reported upon a positive learning and teaching experience providing them with a unique opportunity to develop the essential skills and knowledge required to enhance their extended practice. Four key themes were identified from delegate feedback: legitimacy of learning experience; safe-space for learning; confidence as a practitioner; professional and social interactions. Originality/value – Research into skill development in this field is currently lacking. Findings highlight the value of a creative approach to professional development which enables individuals to master the skills required for practice. It also underlines the importance and value of collaborative partnerships. As allied health professionals advance and extend their roles professional development must move away from the didactic delivery of isolated topics and ensure that it offers legitimate learning experiences allowing skill development and technique mastery alongside knowledge enhancement.
JournalHigher Education Skills and Work-based Learning
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