What Is the Professional Identity of Allied Health Managers?
Objective: This paper explores the professional identity (PI) of Allied Health Managers (AHMs) and how their identity is typically constructed.
Methods: A qualitative research methodology utilising semi-structured interviews was employed for this research. Thematic analysis was used to extract relevant data from the transcripts.
Settings: The study was undertaken in five acute hospitals within one of the largest metropolitan Local Health Districts in New South Wales, Australia. A total of sixteen AHMs and deputy AHMs were interviewed.
Results: Three key themes identified were: PI of AHM, motivation of becoming a manager, and construction of their identity. Factors motivating AHMs to follow a management pathway were identified as being a natural progression and having interest in high-level decision-making. Despite AHMs sharing similar role conflict as the medical managers, they adapted to hybrid manager roles with minimal resentment. They also adopted to the hybrid manager role with a positive, realistic and flexible perspective.
Conclusion: Despite facing role conflict as a hybrid-professional-manager, AHMs manage the transition from clinicians to managers with a positive approach. This indicates that AHMs may require certain skills or characteristics to successfully construct their PI.