Introduction: All healthcare workers are responsible for patient safety and quality improvement and need to “speak up” to communicate issues. As healthcare systems strain under the impact of reduced staffing and workloads increase, allied health new graduates are feeling under pressure and unsupported. Understanding their experiences of speaking up as they transition into the workforce will identify what support they require to fulfil their patient safety and quality improvement responsibilities. Method: An exploratory study was conducted to investigate how new graduates in allied health speak up. Informed by a realist theoretical position, this study was interested in what contexts and resources support new graduates to speak up or not. Two different focus groups with allied health new graduates were used to collect data. Reflexive thematic analysis was employed to draw out key themes and sub-themes. Results: Three main themes were generated –advocacy drives speaking up, scaffolding, and transition impact. Further analysis identified context-mechanism-outcome configurations which were then developed into an initial programme theory. Conclusion: Further in-depth exploration of speaking up behaviour with allied health new graduates will inform leaders within education and workplace settings about ways to develop confident and competent professionals who can speak up for patient safety and quality improvement.
We wish to thank all participants who have offered their time and thoughts to this study.
Friary PM, Purdy SC, McAllister L, Barrow M, Martin R. Speaking up in Healthcare: An Exploration of the Allied Health New Graduate Workforce. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Jan 04;21(1), Article 5.