Improving Competences of Newly Qualified Professionals
Introduction: Very little research has been done on the transition of newly qualified professionals onto the working field. They often feel vulnerable, due to the differences between them and the experienced professionals. With present study the researcher wanted to investigate whether introducing newly qualified professionals to a specific theoretical model, can help improve their competence in the field of deafblindness and reduce the gap between newly qualified professionals at the start of their careers and expert professionals. The study was specifically aimed at an intervention in applying the Real Space Blend Model to improve competences in the interpretations of gestures of persons with CDB in both groups of professionals. Method: The study used a qualitative design based on individual video-analyses and focus groups. Results: In two of the newly qualified professionals a considerable increase in the number of gestures was seen. Such an increase was also found for one of the expert professionals. Two other expert professionals showed a little change in the overall number of gestures. From the thematic analysis, different themes came forward for each focus group. Newly qualified professionals seemed overall more confident after the intervention, while experienced professionals seemed to have more difficulties grasping the model of Real Space Blends. The expert professionals felt more aware about their identification of gestures in practice. Conclusion and discussion: The training did improve competences in newly qualified professionals. The main effect was an increase in confidence in their abilities. Experienced professionals, on the other hand, experienced more difficulties in learning how to use the model of the Real Space Blends, but found the model very useful in practice to add on the Diagnostic Intervention Model. Some limitations of this study were the small amount of participants and that there were more experienced professionals than newly qualified professionals. More extensive research on the transition of newly qualified professionals is recommended.
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