Are we missing a trick? Why is occupational therapy not talking about the role and development of assistant practitioners?
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThe aim of this poster is to present a scoping of recent literature around the role of assistant practitioners within healthcare, and to present the argument that as a profession we need to be more proactive in developing the skills and knowledge of our support staff. Recently, there has been a drive to develop the nursing associate role to help fill the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses. Clear guidance on standards of proficiency have been developed; with the role being registered by the NMC aligning it with the nursing family (NMC, 2018). Within allied health professions, literature reviews highlight that Radiography have embraced the formal development of their support workers, with the Society of Radiographers producing a scope of practice (Johnson, 2012) and a clear career pathway from assistant practitioner to registered radiographer. Occupational therapy, however, does not appear in the recent literature to be researching the impact and benefits of the assistant practitioner role. This poster will allow consideration of the barriers and opportunities for a more defined role of assistant practitioners within occupational therapy. Evidence suggests that the formalisation of an occupational therapy based assistant practitioner, with a coherent training and development opportunities, ensures the success of this role (Wheeler, 2017). This poster will aim to generate discussion about how empowering existing staff to complete a foundation degree will not only recognise our existing workforce but will positively impact on our clients’ clinical outcomes.
CitationBiggam, A. (2019) 'Are we missing a trick? Why is occupational therapy not talking about the role and development of assistant practitioners?'. [Poster] Exhibited at Birmingham, Royal College of Occupational Therapists annual conference, June 17-18.
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