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Before Preceptorship: New Occupational Therapists' Expectations of Practice and Experience of Supervision

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Abstract:

Newly qualified health care practitioners generally have high expectations of practice. Stress, value conflict and role uncertainty ('reality shock') can result where such expectations remain unmet. Good quality professional supervision can mitigate the deleterious effects of such change. Agenda for Change initiatives have the potential to improve the new practitioners' lot in this area by mandating a year-long period of 'preceptorship' support. Such support pairs newly qualified individuals (preceptees) with senior colleagues as role models and resources (preceptors).

This article reports a questionnaire-based survey conducted with 45/74 (61%) newly qualified occupational therapists based in London. The respondents reported high initial expectations of their first posts, particularly with regard to professional supervision and client care, which varied according to their age and education. Most (76%) received weekly professional supervision, focused on primarily clinical issues, although this did not always reflect the respondents' desired time use. Although varied development opportunities were cited, the respondents spent little time with their senior colleagues.

This study showed that the respondents' expectations and experience of supervisory practice varied. A structured approach to the respondents' personal and professional development, and/or supervision, was not always apparent. Given this, preceptorship seemingly has much to offer newly qualified occupational therapists in the United Kingdom.

Keywords: EXPECTATIONS; NEWLY QUALIFIED; PRECEPTORSHIP; SUPERVISION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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