Breaking down professional barriers
- By: Bruno Rushforth
In healthcare, interprofessional education isn't just about having nursing and medical students taught side-by-side in the lecture hall, it's more about allowing different professions to come together so that they can learn from and about each other, with the aim of improving collaboration and ultimately the quality of patient care. For example, participants from different health and social care professions might as a team work through a complex ethical dilemma or ‘near-miss‘ incident to generate possible solutions that incorporate a variety of professional perspectives.
Interprofessional education is said to be most effective when it occurs in small groups or interactive settings where participants can draw upon their different experiences and knowledge, and where they value the contributions of other professionals or students (see box 1). In a sense, this takes place informally on a daily basis in most hospitals and primary care settings, but there are moves to incorporate this