How do we do what we do with patients and how can we do it better?
James Monteith, Jo Greenaway, David Owen – Health Advisers
Central Middlesex Hospital
London, NW10 7NS
Tel: 0208 453 2220
Summary of research topic
“Is Health Advising just a job or does it have the characteristics of a profession? Are Health Advisers merely ancillary workers for the medical profession carrying out a delegated range of tasks, or do they have a coherent way of conceptualising their role in a way that relates theory to practice, and which betokens a distinct professional identity and role”?
The overall aim of the Research is to evaluate and conceptualise Health Adviser interactions with a specific patient group: HIV antibody positive gay men referred for psychological support; with a view towards developing and supporting an evidence based Health Adviser practice applicable to all patients referred. It is a baseline study.
From the responses to the patient questionnaire the authors considered three specific though inter-related questions:
- What knowledge, skills and attitudes inform a Health Adviser interaction with a patient in a HIV/GUM centre?
- How can we better define and characterise our patient interactions?
- What implication do these findings have for the professional development of Health Advising with particular reference to the core areas of Health Advising (SSHA – Guidelines for Good Practice, 1999)
The argument of this study is that Health Advising is not just a job comprised of a range of specific delegated tasks. The authors have identified our professional core skill we counsel patients in sexual infections; and we believe as Health Advisers, we are beginning to conceptualise our counselling practice appropriately.
When committed and experienced Health Advisers meet and we discuss our work; we instinctively recognise each other as fellow professionals though we may have come from many different backgrounds and theoretical trainings.
Full poster presented at SSHA Conference 2000