Aims General morale among junior doctors across specialties appears to be low, influencing wellbeing and can even impact patient care. Retention and attrition are particularly a problem in Paediatrics. This study was designed to explore Paediatric trainee perceptions and experiences of the training programme and to identify ‘hotspots’ associated with negative experiences and dropout of trainees and similarly to highlight time-points associated with positive experiences. The tool highlights ‘hotspots’ which can be improved to enhance the training programme.
Methods It was important to have representation from all grade Paediatric trainees in the region. A Trust representative session with 30 trainees from ST1–8, was used to run an emotional mapping exercise. This experience-based technique was originally a co-design tool used in the healthcare setting with patients to identify key moments along a patients’ journey. These moments are marked in a line along a wall. Participants are then asked to write words on a sticky note to reflect emotions to those moments. Positive notes are stuck above the line and negative below, providing a visual representation of associated experiences. The method was adopted to assess Paediatric training.
Results The emotional map highlighted 12 points felt to be significant moments along the run-through training pathway. The majority of associated feelings in relation to these moments were negative. Areas associated with a significant proportion of negative experiences were neonatal placements in level 1 training, with issues around training, rotas and support and the second area was membership examinations and the ST3 year. The greatest proportion of positive experiences were related to the training programme being run-through and the associated ‘sense of security’.
Conclusion The emotional mapping exercise was a novel approach to exploring trainee experience and was successful in engaging trainees at all levels. Trainees reported value in seeing shared experiences with immediate visual representation of their views. The exercise highlighted two main ‘hotspots’ resulting in low morale during training. The latter part of the session was spent creating a list of recommendation to address both ‘hotspot’ areas, that trainees felt would improve the quality of their training and experiences.
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