I am approaching the end of my data collection with members of the public and I recently had one of those moments of recognition that the work I am undertaking might just actually have a real outcome in changing awareness of clinical practice among not just my own profession, but potentally beyond as well when considering the other professions encompassed by non-medical prescribing.
I have been so embedded within the qualitative perspective that I now need to expand my skills to include awareness of and us of quantitative methods in order to carry out a mixed methods study of suitable value. Key to this venture will be the integration of my data having been immersing myself in the one of the key sources on Mixed methods - Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research by Creswell and Plano Clark. Already this source is providing me with questions to ponder. Does my current title sufficiently reflect the Mixed Methods approach? I plan to discuss this at my next supervisory meeting. As for the tentative resulst emerging from my study to date, concepts such as "Trust" between patient and clinician is a growing sense from the interviews, with a positive pressure on this sense of trust from the patients' perspective in dealing with a healthcare professional who is a prescriber of medicines.
Introductory interviews with healthcare professionals who made up my first cohort of participants; the thought leaders and influencers, proposed ideas of the value of "advanced generalists" as prescribers, whilst simultantously seeing concerns raised by the two representatives of physiotherapy with regards to the overmedicalisation of the profession and movement away from the therapeutic rehabilitation model of are which they reported as being key to the brand that is physiotherapy.
Whilst working across specialisms was seen as a positive driver for patient care and the need to break down "Silo" thinking was accepted as important; there are apparent concerns regarding dilution of the professions brand and a potential for interprofessional argument negatively impacting patient care. There are just some of the themes I plan to take forward in the final part of phase 1 of my project.
This journey into a void, where I don't yet know the shape of what I will find is both exciting and slightly scary.