The value of postgraduate study for healthcare professionals

Sian_JonesThe provision of healthcare services is occurring in dynamic and rapidly developing clinical landscapes. 

Some users of these services are becoming more discerning and many others have complex health and social care needs. As a result, healthcare practitioners must be responsive to the speed and challenges of such change and be knowledgeable, skilled and effective in meeting the needs of those who use a range of services.

Continuous professional development and education is essential to support and prepare practitioners to keep up-to-date with knowledge, skills, trends and technological advances in settings which are increasingly under pressure. Also themes such as professional accountability and service user dignity, autonomy and choice receive close scrutiny in environments which value holistic, family-centre healthcare.  


Postgraduate study can improve personal and professional confidence


Academic study, or doing a course, will have a number of benefits. Primarily this will enhance levels of knowledge, skill and insight into a given subject. 

Also doing further study can encourage critical awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses and improve personal and professional confidence. When applying this to a work setting, a practitioner may feel more equipped to be assertive, to challenge or be more informed to provide improved levels of service. 

Academic skill is not simply about being successful in getting good grades in academic assignments or passing courses. It is about practitioners demonstrating their levels of knowledge, ability and skill in their everyday roles. It is also about appropriately educated and skilled practitioners improving outcomes for service users. 




About the author: Dr Sian Jones is Deputy Head of School - Care Sciences. She has a clinical background in acute surgery, and specialises in health care law and its application to practice-based settings.

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