The research sensitive practitioner
This chapter explores research as one important source of knowledge in practice. Most professionals are aware that research is a key foundation for practice. But how many practitioners actually use research to define their practice roles? How many use research findings on a daily basis or adopt research approaches to solve practice problems? In this chapter I propose that doing practice research or using knowledge from research is an essential part of being a professional and that all practitioners should be 'research sensitive'. Research sensitive practitioners have a research orientation to practice: they have an awareness of research, and use systematic knowledge gained through research to guide their practice. Some individuals may become investigators themselves. Regardless of the research role adopted by practitioners, truly professional practice requires a sensitivity to research, as this is a defining feature of professional status. This chapter examines the rationale for and ways to achieve a research sensitive approach to practice.