The National Professional Development Program (NPDP) is introduced by the AIR is obligatory for graduates of MRS to complete to achieve recognition as an Accredited Practitioner. The NPDP has successful outcomes as it provides the graduates with high qualification skills to be applied to their professions. The NPDP provides opportunities to practice the outcomes of the graduates` experience/skills in real clinical situations under qualified practitioners` supervision. During the NPDP, students undergo professional peer assessment of their professionalism and must meet the professional standard, such us professional attributes, skills and knowledge, which is described in the AIR Competency Based Standards for the Accredited Practitioner. Therefore, besides on that assessment, the graduates improve their limitation skills among the professional practice areas to successfully complete the NPDP in order to eligible for the AIR Validated Statement of Accreditation (Australian Institute of Radiography, 2010).
However, clinical placements during the university course are inadequate for the graduates to be professional in all practice areas. Some clinical do not allow students to practice in some medical imaging modalities such us CT, thus, not all graduates had a chance to practice these modalities. However, under the NPDP requirements, MRS graduates must practice in CT.
Similarly, the physiotherapy graduates must do Board-approved internship, structured by The Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA). The main difference here is that the internship is either one-year following the five-years of study or two-years following the four-years of study (Lewis, 2013). Another similarity is that the APA also encourages physiotherapists to participate in professional activities through the CPD program to maintain physiotherapists updating with the skills and knowledge. APA and NPDP have the same aim of developing and maintain the professional standard of health practitioners (The Physiotherapy Board of Australia, 2013).
As a new practitioner, how can you demonstrate your LLL skills?
My life long learning skills are derived from education and clinical placement. I have gained self-directed learning skills through searching the journals, articles and books and analysing the strongest arguments based on logical explanation. This builds the concept of self-directed research that health practitioners need to update to improve their performance (Snaith& Hardy, 2007). Furthermore, clinical placements deliver real situations of practical LLL skills. LLL skills come from practicing with qualified professionals in different clinical cases to gain more experience, confidence and recognise own skills. Therefore, daily-work experiences and reflective practice delivers LLL skills as well.
Another main strategies of LLL skills is continuing professional development (CPD), which is essentially important to maintain the clinical skills accuracy (Chapman et al., 2009). CPD motivates new practitioners to continue learning and creating own skills to enhance the critical thinking and confidence in clinical practices (Sim&Radloff, 2009). The CPD includes attending conferences and listening to professionals` ideas/knowledge, developments of medical technologies and updated researches (Chapman et al., 2009). Conferences are important to updated new practitioners with new information and encourage them to expand/share their ideas/knowledge. Another formal CPD, register to online orgnisations/courses that inform new practitioners about recent researchs/information while running in practices (Aaronson, 2011). Also, new practitioners become connecting with other health professionals to update on the latest technology skills (Aaronson, 2011). However, the informal CPD depends on individuals self-education such us reading journal and writing workplace dairies that would used to improve practitioners education resulting in better professional performance (Chapman et al., 2009).
This professional document advances my knowledge/awareness to important concepts that I need to practice during graduate year. Some concepts are reflective practice and culture sensitivity, which are familiar to me. I gained deeper understanding of how I can apply them to real practice. Also, this document allowed me to recognise the LLL skills and how I can develop/update my professional knowledge/skills by self-directed learning or CPD. This is essential for health professionals to maintain professional work for the best interest of patients.
Additionally, it has prepared me for after graduation, such as the requirements of CV and steps I must do to be a qualified radiographer. It helped me learn the government applications/forms, which I need and the achievements to acquire the international qualified license radiographer. Based on that, this document organised my thoughts and prepared me for job interviews as I can see my professional attributes. Overall, it motivated me to improve my professional limitations, develop the skills and be ready for the professional responsibility for the NPDP year.
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