|| ABSTRACT | Volume 1, Issue 3, Pages 85-93 (May 2015)
IMPROVING CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR HEALTH WORKERS: IS LEARNING THEORY RELEVANT?
| John Francis Mugisha |. The American Journal of Innovative Research and Applied Sciences. 2015; 1(3):85-93.
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Background: Many in the health professions would agree that continuing professional development (CPD) plays a key role in the quality of services they provide to their clients. However, how effectively CPD should be delivered is still contentious. This paper argues that CPD is about learning and can only be effective if it is designed while taking into account the relevant theoretical underpinnings drawn from the learning theory. Objectives: An external desk research was conducted to achieve 3 objectives: 1) to decipher the concept of learning in the context of CPD; 2) to examine what health professionals learn; and 3) to examine how health professionals learn basing on learning theory. Methods: Secondary data sources were searched using medical and public health data bases as well as data bases on CPD and its influence on health workers’ performance. After obtaining material, a rapid assessment was conducted and selection done basing on relevance, and if the study was conducted from the year 2000 onwards. Results: It was established that the concept of learning is variously understood depending on learning theories being employed; that professionals learn verbal information, intellectual skills, motor skills, attitude and cognitive skills; and that they learn mainly through stimulation of senses, reinforcement, experiences, mental processing, social interaction and in a bid to fulfil needs. Conclusion: It was concluded that continuing professional development is about learning and that its designers should employ learning theory to grasp the factors that affect the learning process if they want to use it as a tool to improve professional practice.
Keywords: Continuing Professional Development, Health Workers, Learning Theory.