Working as part of a team can be the most challenging aspect of any health professional’s job role. The authors of this article acknowledge that this is frequently considered a skill that can only be learnt ‘on the job’. Yet it is increasingly identified as a core competency in basic professional training, for example by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative competencies in America. This article outlines exactly how this may be achieved both in the classroom and in clinical placement situations. A continuum of learning is proposed, ranging from learning with each other (in classrooms) to learning from and about each other (in team based clinical situations). As students progress and develop they progress from one end of the continuum to the other. The authors describe how they have implemented this model in their interdisciplinary education module at Ohio University that includes students from medical, nursing, nutrition, physical therapy, speech and language therapy and social work backgrounds. At the start of this course classroom-based activities with student colleagues from all disciplines and simulated experiences are used. As the students’ progress, they engage in joint placement visits where small groups jointly see, assess and manage a patient. Communicating with and working with our colleagues is the key to delivering an evidence-based, person-centred service and requires practice. Embedding a positive attitude to interprofessional working as early as possible will ensure this becomes routine in health care provision.

The interprofessional education environment: places and pedagogies.
McCarthy JW, DiGiovanni JJ.
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Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

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