Strengthening practical wisdom : Mental health workers’ learning and development

Kristin Ådnøy Eriksen, Hellen Dahl, Bengt Karlsson, and Maria Arman. (2014). Strengthening practical wisdom : Mental health workers’ learning and development. Nurs Ethics February 4, 2014 0969733013518446

Abstract: Background: Practical wisdom, understood as knowing how to be or act in any present situation with clients, is believed to be an essential part of the knowledge needed to be a professional mental health worker. Exploring processes of adapting, extending knowledge and refining tacit knowledge grounded in mental health workers’ experiences with being in practice may bring awareness of how mental health workers reflect, learn and practice professional ‘artistry’. Research question: The aim of the article was to explore mental health workers’ processes of development and learning as they appeared in focus groups intended to develop practical wisdom. The main research question was ‘How might the processes of development and learning contribute to developing practical wisdom in the individual as well as in the practice culture?’ Research design: The design was multi-stage focus groups, and the same participants met four times. A phenomenological hermeneutical method for researching lived experience guided the analysis. Participants and context: Eight experienced mental health workers representing four Norwegian municipalities participated. The research context was community-based mental health services. Ethical considerations: The study was reported to Norwegian Social Data Services, and procedures for informed consent were followed. Findings: Two examples of processes of re-evaluation of experience (Association, Integration, Validation, Appropriation and Outcomes and action) were explored. The health workers had developed knowledge in previous encounters with clients. In sharing practice experiences, this knowledge was expressed and developed, and also tested and validated against the aims of practice. Discussions led to adapted and extended knowledge, and as tacit knowledge was expressed it could be used actively. Discussion: Learning to reflect, being ready to be provoked and learning to endure indecisiveness may be foundational in developing practical wisdom. Openness is demanding, and changing habits of mind is difficult. Conclusion: Reflection on, and confrontation with, set practices are essential to building practice cultures in line with the aims of mental health services.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted:Feb 01 2014, 12:00 AM by brendah
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