Clinical on-boarding as a tool to enhance service delivery and confidence in hospital based occupational therapists. A qualitative study.

Miss Anna Joy1, Ms Allison Farley1

1Eastern Health, Burwood East, Australia

Abstract: 

Title: Clinical on-boarding as a tool to enhance service delivery and confidence in hospital based occupational therapists. A qualitative study

Aim: The aim of this project was to qualitatively analyse the perceptions and experience of the Occupational Therapy department’s on-boarding process at a metropolitan health service. In particular, the study aimed to investigate the new staff member’s perception of level of welcomeness, departmental level of organisation and confidence to undertake standard work tasks.

Method: A survey was administered utilising SurveyMonkey® software. Data was thematically analysed using an iterative process of coding to elicit key themes. A follow up focus group was then conducted to provide depth to the data and for the purpose of member checking the survey data.

Results: Themes emerged around: the amount of time allocated to on-boarding upon commencement at the health service; assumptions made by existing staff about the level of confidence of the new staff member; clinical demands impacting on the quality of on-boarding; long-term implications of low quality on-boarding processes and subsequent pressures on existing staff members.

Significance of the findings to allied health: Anecdotal feedback from new staff members suggested that the on-boarding process for therapists could do with improvement in terms of operational processes, clinical processes and team inclusion. Prior to commencing any project work to improve this process, mapping and thematic analysis of the feedback from staff needed to be formalised through this study.

Biography: 

Anna is a grade 4 Occupational Therapist working in rehabilitation services at Eastern Health. Anna has completed her masters looking into knowledge translation and has a particular interest in the role that clinical supervision and staff development play in this process.