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Health visitor education for today's Britain: Messages from a narrative review of the health visitor literature

Malone, M., Whittaker, K.M., Cowley, S., Ezhova, I. and Maben, Jill (2016) Health visitor education for today's Britain: Messages from a narrative review of the health visitor literature Nurse Education Today, 44. pp. 175-186.

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Abstract

Objectives

This paper draws on a narrative review of the literature, commissioned to support the Health Visitor Implementation Plan, and aimed at identifying messages about the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed by health visitors to work within the current system of health care provision.

Design

The scoping study and narrative review used three complementary approaches: a broad search, a structured search, and a seminal paper search to identify empirical papers from the health visitor literature for review. The key inclusion criteria were messages of relevance for practice.

Data Sources

378 papers were reviewed. These included empirical papers from the United Kingdom (UK) from 2004 to February 2012, older research identified in the seminal paper search and international literature from 2000 to January 2016.

Review Methods

The review papers were read by members of the multidisciplinary research team which included health visitor academics, social scientists, and a clinical psychologist managed the international literature. Thematic content analysis was used to identify main messages. These were tabulated and shared between researchers in order to compare emergent findings and to confirm dominant themes.

Results

The analysis identified an ‘orientation to practice’ based on salutogenesis (health creation), human valuing (person-centred care), and viewing the person in situation (human ecology) as the aspirational core of health visitors' work. This was realised through home visiting, needs assessment, and relationship formation at different levels of service provision. A wide range of knowledge, skills, and abilities were required, including knowledge of health as a process and skills in engagement, building trust, and making professional judgments. These are currently difficult to impart within a 45 week health visitor programme and are facilitated through ad hoc post-registration education and training. The international literature reported both similarities and differences between the working practices of health visitors in the UK and public health nurses worldwide. Challenges related to the education of each were identified.

Conclusions

The breadth and scope of knowledge, skills, and abilities required by health visitors make a review of current educational provision desirable. Three potential models for health visitor education are described.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Malone, M.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Whittaker, K.M.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Cowley, S.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ezhova, I.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Maben, Jillj.maben@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Date : September 2016
Identification Number : 10.1016/j.nedt.2016.04.007
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2016. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords : Health visitor practice Health visitor education Narrative review Knowledge, skills and abilities Public health nurse International
Depositing User : Claudio Svaluto
Date Deposited : 14 Nov 2017 09:20
Last Modified : 12 Dec 2017 11:59
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/844894

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