Australian herbalists' perceptions of professional clinical support

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, 2006, 18 (3), pp. 93 - 98
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Objective: To describe the perceptions held by members of the National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA) regarding the levels of intra-professional support available to them upon entering clinical practice. Design: A national postal survey sent to all full members of the NHAA. Setting: Nationwide herbal clinics of NHAA practitioners in Australia. Main outcome measures: Rating scales of perceptions of support (1=very supportive, 2=somewhat supportive, 3=a little supportive, 4=not supportive) provided by the respondents in regard to their educational institution, professional association (NHAA) and other practitioners, reported as frequencies and means. Results: Herbalists appear to receive most support from informal inter-professional relationships with other practitioners (mean=2.13) and some support from their professional association (mean=2.35). The majority of herbalists do not perceive their training institution (mean=3.18) as being very supportive. Conclusion: The survey results show a significant degree of consistency in attitudes across Australia by members of the NHAA towards perceptions of available post-graduate support. The survey data indicates that support available to herbalists when entering clinical practice is on an informal, practitioner to practitioner basis, as opposed to the result of any formal structures. This research highlights how herbalists perceive formal support structures available to them as post-graduates as insufficient.
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