Clinical induction as a tool to enhance service delivery and confidence in hospital based occupational therapists. A qualitative study

Allison Farley1, Anna Joy1, Jude Boyd1

1Eastern Health, Melbourne, Australia

Aim: The aim of this project was to qualitatively analyse the perceptions and experience of the Occupational Therapy department’s induction process at a metropolitan health service. In particular, the study aimed to investigate the new staff member’s perception of level of welcomeness, departmental level of organisation and confidence to undertake standard work tasks.

Method: A survey was administered utilising SurveyMonkey® software. Data was thematically analysed using an iterative process of coding to elicit key themes. A follow up focus group was then conducted to provide depth to the data and for the purpose of member checking the survey data.

Results: Themes emerged around: the amount of time allocated to induction upon commencement at the health service; assumptions made by existing staff about the level of confidence of the new staff member; clinical demands impacting on the quality of induction; long-term implications of low quality induction processes and subsequent pressures on existing staff members.

Discussion: Anecdotal feedback from new staff members suggested that the induction process for therapists could do with improvement in terms of operational processes, clinical processes and team inclusion. Prior to commencing any project work to improve this process, this study provided mapping and thematic analysis of the feedback from staff through a formal project design. Key outcomes were elicited around the amount of time allocated for induction, the importance of induction on high functioning staff in the longer term, the complexities of induction of locum staff. In addition, the perceived burden on existing members of the team in instances of both high quality and low quality induction of new staff members was highlighted.


Allison is the clinical lead for complex care at Eastern Health. Her passion for upskilling new and existing clinicians has led to multiple projects including this work in collaboration with Anna Joy.

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