Dossier n. 246/2014 [Abstract] Tutorship in Emilia-Romagna Health Trusts - Vast Area Emilia Nord


Emilia-Romagna Law no. 29/2004 explicitly assigned to education and research a fundamental role in the Regional Health Service.

Changes in organizations are moving the axes of competences and priorities, from class teaching activities to more articulated, pedagogic/organizational professional profiles. In this context, the role of tutor for basic and continuous education becomes fundamental, to facilitate students and neo-employees in their learning process. Tutorship is an important didactic strategy used in many programs for basic and post-degree education for many health care professions.

After the publication of the volume "I tutor per la formazione nel Servizio sanitario regionale dell’Emilia-Romagna" (Dossier n. 174/2009), a further analysis was promoted to:

  • study and map the number and types of tutors, and their didactic conditions;
  • outline a research project to valorize the role of tutors as an important contribution for education and professional development of a Health Trust.

Through a quanti/qualitative survey, the study was meant to:

  • describe the tutorial process in Emilia-Romagna Health Trusts from health professionals’ point of view;
  • investigate the opinions of the involved subjects (professionals, people responsible for education) on competences required to carry out this function.

The research-action study was articulated in three phases.

The first phase was meant to describe the tutorial process from professionals’ point of view, using a questionnaire. Sample population was extracted from the all health professionals that in the last three years have carried out some tutorial function in their Health Trust; however, as the sample was randomly auto-selected, it cannot be generalized to all population.

The goal of the second phase was to analyze professionals’ idea on what knowledge is necessary to carry out the tutorial function, and which education needs are recognized and have to be developed in tutors through the implementation of a training path. The method of the focus group was used.

The participation to the questionnaire and to the focus group was boosted through the assignment of 2 credits for continuous education.

The third phase of the study was intended to define the broad lines for programming a training path for tutors in the Health Trusts involved in the research. This part can be defined as a research-action phase, as the points of view of the professionals were the base for a shared and participated definition of those broad lines so that the training path/program can satisfy the real needs of all people working as tutors.

The idea is “to do education” in order to transfer knowledge from the single person to the organization and vice versa. Professionals change, and also their organizations can change if conditions are created to enable the encounter of the “new” - temporarily belonging only to the single professionals - with the reality of the organization. Training thus represents a fundamental resource to improve the knowledge needed to manage work processes and to develop innovation: doing education is not only a synonym of planning and organizing a good course; education has to be experienced as a system to manage learning-changing processes.

The research-action process has also meta goals: it has to identify tutorial competences to be developed and to train educators for clinical tutors in order to promote “shared” didactic models for the different figures in the Health Trusts. Concerning this, it should be noted that in October 2014 a call for a “Master of I level for educators for clinical tutors” was promoted in collaboration with the University of Parma; the Master is addressed to all health professionals and physicians, and it will be implemented in 2015.


Priami D
Vivoli V
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