Skip main navigation

The value of inter-professional education

Watch this video about The value of inter-professional education.
Hello. My name Susanne Lindquist. I am Professor of Interprofessional Practice and Director of the Centre for Interprofessional Practice (CIP) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). CIP helps ensure that all healthcare students at UEA will experience a range of opportunities for interprofessional education (IP) from the beginning and throughout students education, with the aim of equipping them for their future collaborative practice. As a clinician, you will be very aware of the importance of working together collaboratively with a number of colleagues to provide high-quality and safe care to patients. IP occurs when two or more professions learn with, from, and about each other, in order to improve collaboration and the quality of care.
This definition is provided by Cape the UK Centre for the advancement of interprofessional education. Cape published a number of helpful guides on how to conduct IP in various settings. A key component of effective IP and interprofessional practice is good communication across professions. Yet the main issues in nearly all situations where quality care was not provided included lack of effective interfaces between professionals, mainly because of poor inter professional communication.
Known challenges associated with communication between professionals are linked to a lack of awareness of own role in communication, understanding of an ability to deal with rank dynamics between professions, and understanding of, and ability to deal with different professions roles and responsibilities, courage and being proactive, skills in dealing with conflict and emotional stress, and common language and consistency in the interpretation of confidentiality, respect towards and trust in the abilities of other professions, and time. As a clinical supervisor, you can initiate opportunities to IP by getting people together to start sharing information about roles and responsibilities, what works well and what does not work so well. As highlighted by Carpenter and Dickinson in 2011, contact is not enough.
However, there are some other ingredients that you also need to consider for successful interaction and dialogue to take place. And examples are that participants have equal opportunities to contribute views, that you all work towards a common goal or vision, that you have institutional support and that you have opportunities to discuss similarities and differences. Positive expectations is important and the perception of members of other professions as representatives for that group.
You might think that it’s simply too much for you at the moment to take this on at this time and if so then it’s important to recognize that you can still help create IP opportunities for your students when they are on placement and especially if you interact with students from different courses. If you don’t and only supervise or mentor students from your own, or one profession, then you can still play a key part and being a role model of interprofessional practice. IP and interprofessional practice it’s not about diluting roles, or the importance of professions. Neither is it about blurring boundaries. It’s quite the opposite.
It’s important for everyone to know who they are, where they belong and what their roles and responsibilities are, but this cannot happen in isolation. Actively engaging in IP with your colleagues will ensure that you continue to learn with from and about others to optimize your contribution as clinical supervisor and professional to patient care.

Please watch this video where Professor Lindqvist discusses the value of interprofessional education and why this is so important in providing effective patient care. What is your experience of IPE? Share your views and experiences with us.

This article is from the free online

Clinical Supervision: Teaching and Facilitating Learning

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now