Interprofessional Module 2. Who benefits from interprofessional working?

Essay, 2006

14 Pages, Grade: Pass


Interprofessional Module

What was your group goal?

The following goal was explored within the interprofessional group:

Who benefits from interprofessional working?

The learning outcomes selected by the group were:

a.) Explore ways to promote user participation within the provision of services.
b.) Promote and establish effective communication and working in teams to achieve interprofessional collaboration.

Group statements:

1.) Working collaboratively with other professionals in a multi-disciplinary team improves patient care.
2.) Communication barriers inhibit successful interprofessional working.
3.) Professionals should work together towards a common goal.
4.) Cohesiveness is not always evident within teams, and can take time to develop.
5.) Power can influence and manipulate people; and can be misused.
6.) Conflict of opinion can be healthy within a group, as this can highlight different views.
7.) Rules will only work if they are accepted and respected within the team.
8.) Interprofessional education is about learning about the roles of other professionals.
9.) Mutual support and respect helps team cohesion.
10.) Everybody is a potential service user.
11.) Effective collaborative working can require compromise.
12.) The patient is central to the delivery of care.
13.) Poor interprofessional collaboration can lead to confusion and an impersonal experience for the patient.
14.) There is a need to improve standards of interprofessional working.

Select four statements from the list compiled by the group, and explain why they are relevant to your own learning about interprofessional collaboration.

The four statements I have selected are numbered 1, 2, 13 and 14 (in the above list).

The first statement here is undoubtedly relevant to my own learning about interprofessional collaboration, as I have found that it is frequently reported that successful collaboration between healthcare professionals leads to improvements in the provision of care for patients. This message was reinforced throughout the interprofessional conference, during many of the lectures and seminars; and is supported by Kaas et al (2000) who report that the quality of care delivered to patients is “highly dependent” on the collaborative efforts between healthcare professionals. Furthermore, it is reported by the NHS (2003) that good interprofessional working creates improvements in “the experience and outcome of care for patients”.

Lax and Galvin (2002) emphasise that poor communication presents a barrier to interprofessional collaboration, which inhibits its success; a view that supports and reinforces the second statement. This became apparent following the conference, when the interprofessional group encountered difficulty with the online aspect of the work. This presented a challenge, as it was difficult to acquire input from all of the group members, possibly due to the need for internet access to communicate with one another. DiMeglio et al (2005) report that good communication between professionals is conducive to collaboration and teamwork; a view supported by Daly (2004) who argues that a high standard of communication “is the linchpin of successful collaboration”.

The significance of the thirteenth statement is highlighted by Roberts and Priest (1997), who state that inadequate or poor interprofessional collaboration can lead to “confusion and misunderstandings”, and detracts from the making of progress. This was evident during the group work sessions at the interprofessional conference, when at times, members of the group became unsure about and confused by the tasks that had been set, and what was expected of them; inevitably this cost the group valuable time. Furthermore, Rushmer (2005) reports that such confusion, and the blurring of professional boundaries can “lead to resentment and distrust”. Carlick and Price (2006) state that good collaboration between professionals can lead to improvements in the ‘patient experience’; therefore, conversely, one may argue that poor collaboration could detract from the experience of our patients.

Headrick et al (1998) and Daly (2004) both highlight the relevance of the fourteenth statement, reporting that there is a need to improve standards of interprofessional collaboration; in addition, Sloper (2004) states that this need is widely recognised. This is relevant to my own learning because it validates my participation in interprofessional education as a student healthcare professional. Furthermore, Barr (2006) emphasises the need to learn from past mistakes and errors, which may have been avoided, and were contributed to through “ineffective interprofessional working”.

Word count – 432 words.

What have you learned during this module?

Attending the interprofessional conference has clearly been beneficial; I feel that this has provided me with an experience, which has enriched my understanding of the processes involved in interprofessional collaboration, and has also raised my awareness of the inherent difficulties or barriers that may arise. Furthermore, the conference repeatedly stressed the need for professionals to keep the patient at the heart of the collaborative process, and also promoted the involvement of the patient at every possible juncture; this is echoed by the first learning outcome selected by the group, and is supported by Toop (1998) who describes a “partnership” between the patient and the professionals, emphasising the importance of “patient participation” throughout the decision making processes. Headrick et al (1998) agree, stating that the needs of the patient must be the “explicit focus” of collaborative efforts, in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

The need for good communication skills when working in an interprofessional situation was highlighted both during and after the conference; the second learning outcome chosen by the group reiterates this notion. At times during the interprofessional group work sessions of the conference, and whilst completing the online aspect of the conference work, it became clear that communication difficulties were creating uncertainty and confusion (Roberts and Priest, 1997), which in turn, was causing the group to lose direction (Hill and Ingala, 2001). This also highlights the need for good leadership, as it is suggested by Amos and Herrick (2005) that an effective leader is vital in order to “plan, coordinate, and monitor” the activities of the group, whilst also “inspiring team collaboration”. This may have helped to maintain the direction of the group, and may have helped to prevent or reduce the “breakdown in team function” (Madge and Khair, 2000). In addition to this, the NHS (2003) explains that good team leadership is “more likely to lead to sustained changes in service improvement”.

Major (2002) highlights that “group cohesion” can take time to develop, this became clear at the conference; the interprofessional group did not function well initially, and time was required in order for a sense of ‘team’ to form. However, once the team had established itself, I feel that the group members were able to work well together, collaboratively, in pursuit of achieving the outlined goals. This demonstrated how professionals from different disciplines are able to work alongside one another, towards a common goal, for the benefit of the patient (Headrick et al, 1998).

Yuen et al (2006) state that interprofessional learning creates a “significant positive improvement” in the attitudes of the participants “towards learning and working with students from other professions”. The conference provided me with the opportunity to learn from other professionals and students of different disciplines, and also fostered an environment that allowed the diverse experiences and knowledge of the participants to be shared. Mandy et al (2004) suggest that the conference facilitated the “mixing of professional groups” and encouraged “interprofessional discussion”; adding that this can contribute to an improved understanding of the roles of other professionals. This reinforces the need to value and respect the differing knowledge bases and “unique expertise that each member brings to the team” (Houldin et al, 2004).

The learning I have acquired from the conference can only be beneficial, and I feel that the knowledge I have gained here will be highly advantageous when working collaboratively in the future. Despite this, Kenny (2002b) reports that the term ‘interprofessional working’ continues to be “a poorly understood term in clinical practice”; therefore, one may assume that there is a need to share or cascade the insight gained into working collaboratively from the conference with fellow professionals in practice.

Word count – 610 words.

Pick an article and relate it to one statement.

The article I have chosen is:

Mandy, A., Milton, C. and Mandy, P. (2004) Professional stereotyping and interprofessional education. Learning in Health and Social Care 3(3) 154–170.

The statement I have chosen is numbered 8 (in the above list).

In this article the authors discuss the impact of professional stereotyping on the success of interprofessional collaboration and education. The article reports that there is a well-documented history of “interprofessional rivalry, tribalism and stereotypes” within the field of healthcare; furthermore, the authors investigate the stereotypes held by student healthcare professionals of differing professional groups, “before and after a semester of interprofessional education”. Their results suggest that the stereotypical views and opinions held by the students, towards the other professional groups were reinforced following the interprofessional education programme. Despite this, the authors do not deny the potential benefits of interprofessional education, however they do propose that the timing of the delivery of such interprofessional education to student healthcare professionals is, perhaps “critical”, if the reinforcement of professional stereotypes is to be minimised.


Excerpt out of 14 pages


Interprofessional Module 2. Who benefits from interprofessional working?
University of the West of England, Bristol
Mental Health Nursing
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Interprofessional, MDT, Teamwork, Safeguarding, Multidisciplinary, Communication, Collaboration, Nursing, Allied Health Professionals
Quote paper
Timothy John Whittard (Author), 2006, Interprofessional Module 2. Who benefits from interprofessional working?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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