A qualitative evaluation of an Australian public health nutrition workforce development intervention involving mentoring circles

Journal Name: 
Public Health Nutr
Authors: 
Palermo,C.
Hughes,R.
McCall,L.
Abstract: 
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a mentoring circle workforce development intervention among a group of public health nutrition novices. DESIGN: The mentoring circle intervention focused on facilitating practice-based public health nutrition competence development and supporting reorientation of practice from clinical services to preventive services. A retrospective post-intervention qualitative semi-structured interview was used to explore the experiences of those participating in the mentoring circle and to make evaluative judgements about intervention attributes and effectiveness. SETTING: Victoria, Australia. SUBJECTS: Thirty-two novice public health nutrition practitioners employed in the state public health system. RESULTS: Key evaluative theme categories relating to the mentoring circle intervention were identified, including the structure and function of the group, the utility of using advanced-level competency items to guide planning, having a safe and supportive environment for learning and the utility of learning via mentoring and on-the-job experiences. These qualitative evaluation data identify the attributes of the mentoring circle intervention contributing to intervention effectiveness. CONCLUSIONS: This qualitative evaluation indicates that mentoring circles can be an effective workforce capacity-building intervention, particularly in novice workforces characterised by professional isolation and split function roles
8
2011
Volume: 
14
Pages: 
1458-1465
Keywords: 
Australia, Capacity Building, clinical, Development, electronic, Environment, evaluation, Health, intervention, Learning, medical, Nutrition, Public Health, Role, system, Universities, Victoria