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Title: Intricacies of professional learning in health care : the case of supporting self-management in paediatric diabetes
Author: Doyle, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5921 5655
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis offers a rethinking of the role for education as critical workplace pedagogy in complex problems of health care. Taking the case of paediatric diabetes, the study explored how health-care professionals learn the work of supporting children, and their parents, to self-manage the condition. By reconceptualising work problems as sociomaterial learning struggles, this research contributes new understandings of informal professional learning in everyday health-care provision. Data were generated through fieldwork in an outpatient clinic. Particular challenges of supporting self-management in this case were the difficulties of balancing policy aspirations for empowerment with biomedical knowledge about risks to immediate and long-term health. Tracing the materialisation of learning as it unfolded in moments of health-care practice showed professionals handling multiple and contradictory flows of information. Particular challenges were posed by insulin-pump technologies, which have specific implications for professional roles and responsibilities, and introduce new risks. A key insight is that professionals were concerned primarily with the highly complicated perpetual discernment of safe parameters within which children and their parents might reasonably be allowed to contribute to self-management. Such discernment does not readily correspond to the notion of empowerment circulating in the policies and guidelines intended to enable professionals to accomplish this work. As a result, this thesis argues that the work of discernment is obscured. Learning strategies evolve, but could be supported and extended by explicit recognition of the important work of learning as it unfolds in everyday practices of supporting self-management in paediatric diabetes. Most importantly, workplace pedagogies could be developed in ways that attune to the profound challenges and uncertainties that are at stake in these practices.
Supervisor: Fenwick, Tara ; Forbat, Liz Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: professional learning ; health care ; sociomaterial ; diabetes ; Diabetes in children ; Self-care, Health ; Nurse and patient ; Self-management (Psychology)