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Role of Professional Confidence in the Development of Expert Allied Health Professionals: A Narrative Review

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BACKGROUND: Although experienced and expert practitioners are valuable resources for the continuing professional development of other healthcare staff, there is not always a desire to take on this role. Sharing expertise benefits other practitioners, the profession, and healthcare overall. When professionals are unwilling to share, it is a missed opportunity to achieve the best outcomes for patients. METHODS: A narrative review of the literature in relation to professional confidence and expertise across allied health disciplines revealed a number of potential threats to professional confidence and consequently willingness to share information in an 'expert' role. FINDINGS: There is limited literature addressing development of professional confidence post-qualification, particularly after the first year of practice. Role ambiguity, unclear scope of practice, low professional status, and role conflict all threaten the confidence of practitioners. The importance of reflection as a practice to develop and maintain confidence is highlighted in both the student and practitioner literature. CONCLUSION: Training organisations and health workforce employers should consider how professional confidence can be developed and maintained across the career span, with subsequent benefits for development of expertise and knowledge sharing. Recommendations for reflexive thinking and conversations are included. J Allied Health 2019; 48(3):226–232.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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