I started the NMAHP Flying Start programme at my previous job within NHS Ayrshire and Arran, where newly qualified practitioners (NQP) within the Allied Health Professions (AHPs) are encouraged to complete the programme to aid the transition from student/graduate to working as a fully qualified healthcare professional. I then started my new job at DGRI, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, where I completed my final unit and then became a Flying Start Facilitator, mentoring a NQP through the programme.
Completing the programme was very useful with regards to continuing professional development. It allowed me time to reflect on my clinical practice which I otherwise would not have been able to do; this in turn allowed me to feel less overwhelmed as well as allowing me to provide the best possible person-centred care to service users. Flying Start has allowed me to encourage the facilitation of learning in the workplace with regards to colleagues and students as well as the NQP I had mentored through the programme; and it has allowed me to be more mindful of supporting those requiring assistance in the workplace. With regards to leadership, I was able to put my knowledge into practice when I have been supporting students on placement within the x-ray department, as well as new staff members. I have also participated in calls with a group of NQPs to share my Flying Start experience with them and provide feedback on their ideas. Finally, Flying Start has inspired me to constantly think of new ideas to aid improvements in the workplace through the use of new audits and being more confident in sharing my ideas with others, thus creating evidence to improve practice and services.
Mentoring a NQP through Flying Start was very manageable for me: they would email me any queries they had then they would send me their documents to read and feedback to them when each unit was ready to be signed off. After signing my first NQP off for completing the Flying Start Programme, I am really looking forward to mentoring someone else who is keen to complete the programme. Flying Start within the x-ray department isn’t generally promoted, so I am aiming to make more people aware of the valuable skills gained and opportunities that can arise as a result of completing the programme.
Laura Houston, Diagnostic Radiographer, Imaging (x-ray dept), DGRI, NHS Dumfries & Galloway.