A study by NIHR Oxford BRC researchers has revealed that a lack of time, work and clinical commitments, and family and childcare responsibilities are common barriers to training and development for doctors, dentists and nurses.
“Continuing professional development of researchers is vital for research and innovation in healthcare and ultimately improving patient care. We wanted to understand what the training and development needs are of our translational researchers and research support staff – and just important what are the barriers that make attending training more difficult,” said Dr Karen Bell, the Oxford BRC Training and Education Manager, one of the authors on the paper.
The cross-sectional study involved an online questionnaire survey sent to research staff affiliated to the Oxford BRC.
The survey found that the most common barriers to attending training were a lack of time (31%), work (21%), clinical commitments (19%), and family and childcare responsibilities (14%).
The study found that respondents prefer short, interactive training sessions in a convenient location during the working day, preferably in the morning for half a day. Translational researchers want training in leadership, research grant and fellowship writing, and statistics and data analysis.
“We found that our researchers want short, easily accessible and interactive training sessions during the working day. we want our training to be as inclusive and open to as many people as possible, so it’s important that we consider the preferences of our staff and address the factors what is standing in the way of them attending training courses,” explained Dr Sarwar Shah, Oxford BRC Senior Research fellow, an author on the paper.
Dr Bell concluded: “Research organisations like ours need to develop training programmes that take into account training location, timing, and duration that suit clinicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who work in very busy and highly demanding clinical settings.
“Their gender, physical limitations, childcare and family commitments, and especially professional roles are also important factors to consider in developing inclusive training programmes.”