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Professional Identity Formation in Health Promotion Practitioners: Students’ Perspectives during an Undergraduate Program in Switzerland

1
Institute of Health Sciences, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, 8401 Winterthur, Switzerland
2
Faculty for Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Bielefeld University, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany
3
Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, 78464 Konstanz, Germany
4
Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Zurich, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010754
Received: 7 September 2021 / Revised: 1 October 2021 / Accepted: 9 October 2021 / Published: 13 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
The health promotion (HP) community advocates for capacity building, quality assurance and political awareness of HP. Professional identity (PI) is of great relevance to these goals as persons who strongly identify with their profession better adopt their professional role, raising the quality, competence and common values within a professional group. However, investigations on the HP workforce are missing. In order to investigate PI formation in HP professionals, a longitudinal study was conducted with two student cohorts of a Swiss HP and prevention undergraduate program. Using a qualitative approach, focus groups were conducted at the beginning and end of the undergraduate program. Data were transcribed verbatim and condensed using thematic analysis. The results highlight the complexity of the HP’s professional profile. While students experienced difficulties to capture the profile at the beginning of the program, at the end they developed an understanding of it. The practical experience within work placements helped students to grasp the profile and specify their future professional role. Several behavioral, cognitive and motivational aspects were identified that influence HP students’ PI formation and can be fostered. For instance, universities can commit to public relations for HP practitioners and support the PI formation throughout the study program. View Full-Text
Keywords: health promotion; workforce; undergraduate students; professional identity; focus groups health promotion; workforce; undergraduate students; professional identity; focus groups
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MDPI and ACS Style

Biehl, V.; Wieber, F.; Abegglen, D.; Glässel, A. Professional Identity Formation in Health Promotion Practitioners: Students’ Perspectives during an Undergraduate Program in Switzerland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 10754. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010754

AMA Style

Biehl V, Wieber F, Abegglen D, Glässel A. Professional Identity Formation in Health Promotion Practitioners: Students’ Perspectives during an Undergraduate Program in Switzerland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(20):10754. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010754

Chicago/Turabian Style

Biehl, Verena, Frank Wieber, Denise Abegglen, and Andrea Glässel. 2021. "Professional Identity Formation in Health Promotion Practitioners: Students’ Perspectives during an Undergraduate Program in Switzerland" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 20: 10754. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010754

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