Expertise management

Expertise management

Expertise is all about knowledge and experience, basically. Good background knowledge of one's 'field of expertise', and good applied knowledge, be this via simulation and on-the-job, or both. Expertise normally requires long periods of study and application, good understanding, and openness to continue learning. Expertise calls for memorization, and "hard work".

Expertise is typically managed by way of training that provides knowledge and understanding or the opportunity for practical application of what was learned, or both. This knowledge is typically long-term, so it needs to go beyond mere awareness of information. Of course, sometimes part of such knowledge becomes obsolete and needs to be replaced. Again, the new knowledge that replaces it is also deemed to be long-term and, thus, also requires learning and practicing beyond mere awareness of information.

As a side note, it is interesting to notice how many students (and some graduates, as well) complain about the amount of materials they need to memorize or about the complexity of the concepts they need to understand. They wish, sometimes even demand, to be assessed as per 'awareness' when what is required of them is to prove a good level of 'expertise'.
Also, the push for automation, especially for information systems, tends to erode the level of expertise required for doing something. Information systems are not only providing increasing amount of 'knowledge' on a need-to-know basis, they are also reducing the need for such knowledge to reside on the human brain. For example, the demand for memorization have decreased as the age of online databases and electronic information at-your-fingertips progresses. In a relatively near future, IT systems may have all the knowledge that is necessary for a task, and the human may only be required to follow a step-by-step procedure generated electronically for such task in-situ.

The example below shows the checkout procedure for the Datex Aestiva anesthesia machine. Notice how the video is teaching how to do the checkout procedure, not just informing you to simply "be aware of" how to do it. In fact, anybody intended the latter will be soon overwhelmed by the amount of information provided.

One important aspect of expertise is that it is one of the integral elements of 'competence' or 'professionalism', together with awareness. A competent, professional healthcare provider is one who knows both what to do and when to do it, in summary she 'knows what she is doing'.

Datex Aestiva anesthesia machine checkout procedure

(Video embedded from YouTube on 19 November 2011)

Want to know more?

Functional management system

Author

Jose D PEREZGONZALEZ (2011). Massey University, New Zealand (JDPerezgonzalezJDPerezgonzalez).


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