The Importance of Interprofessionalism for Health Workers Nowadays

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In 2010, the World Health Organizations stated “It is no longer enough for health workers to be professional. In the current global climate, health workers also need to be interprofessional” (WHO, 2010). Interprofessional education (IPE) is “learning skills and other abilities alongside other healthcare professionals of different fields to get a better understanding of how to work effectively with them in an actual healthcare setting” (Bohr & Pronovost, 2010). “Interprofessional education is important because it allows students of different disciplines to come together and see different approaches and opinions on a subject that both disciplines would have to deal with in the real world” (Bohr & Pronovost, 2010). This networking will lead to stronger teamwork. We all have a moral obligation to work together to improve care for patients. With interprofessional education, students learn to collaborate and communicate effectively, develop leadership qualities, mutual respect for one another’s knowledge and skill sets (Interprofessional Education Collaborative [IPEC] Expert Panel, 2011).

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It is crucial to include students in the interprofessional educational planning process. A student’s interest will increase when they can to contribute, such as serving as a student adviser on a planning committee, assuming leadership roles in a student organization, participating in research opportunities, and closely engaging with their faculty and any practitioners involved in programming().

The core competencies of interprofessionalism are values and ethics, roles and responsibilities, communication, and teamwork. Values and ethics are important in working with individuals of other professions to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values. Roles and responsibilities uses the knowledge of one’s own role and those of other professions to appropriately assess and address the health care needs of patients, to promote, and advance the health of populations. Communication with patients, families, communities, and professionals in health and other fields in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team approach to the promotion and maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease. Teams and Teamwork apply relationship-building values, and the principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in different team roles to plan, deliver, and evaluate patient/population-centered care and population health programs and policies that are safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable. (IEC, 2016)


Engage in experience

Reflection & feedback

Revision on IPE Target specific competencies

Ensure students stay with their assigned roles and responsibilities.

Get team members to offer feedback.

Adjust student roles and responsibilities based on performance. Assign students to experience to challenge skill base.

Encourage students to set goals beyond roles and responsibilities with guidance.

Identify specific items to improve skill performance.

Re-evaluate targeted skill sets and revise activity based on a competency. Assign specific roles and responsibilities.

Focus student’s efforts on specific skills.

Re-evaluate roles and responsibilities of students on the team.

Add new target skills if ready and change focus on competent skill sets.

The goal for an IPE activity is to develop knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudinal changes. To accomplish this goal the plan can be broken into four levels. The first level is reaction, where the learner expresses views on learning experience and interprofessional nature. Second level is where changes of attitude and perceptions occurs for the person and the group. Third level is where behavioral change occurs and the person uses what they learn in their professional practice. Level four involves organizational change and the change benefits the clients and improved the health or well-being of the client ().


Exposure: Introduction

Immersion: Development

Competence: Entry to Practice Collaboration

  • Roles, responsibilities, and scope of practice.
  • Decision-making and critical thinking, while performing as a team member.
  • Self-reflection
  • Change – Proactive


  • Describe own role, responsibilities, values, and scope of practice.
  • Describe the context and culture of the interprofessional (IP) environment that facilitates or inhibits collaboration, and its constraints.
  • Identify instances where IP care will improve.

Skill / Behavior

  • Accurately describe the roles, responsibilities, and scopes of practice of other professions.
  • Effective decision making in IP teamwork using judgment and critical thinking. – Team effectiveness through reflection on IP team function. – The establishment and maintenance of effective IP working relationships.

Skill / Behavior

  • Work collaboratively with others.
  • Demonstrate leadership in advancing effective IP team function. – Identification of factors that contribute to or hinder team collaboration, establish and maintain effective IP working relation-ships.


  • Based on a client/patient/family needs, consider that preferred practice is IP collaboration and willingly collaborate.


  • Listening
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Sharing information effectively
  • Use a common language
  • Deal with conflict.


  • Recognize and understand how one’s self and ability to contribute to effective communication.

Skill / Behavior

  • Contribute to effective IP communication, including, giving and receiving feedback, addressing conflict or difference of opinions, and self-reflecting.


  • Awareness of and openness to utilize and develop effective IP communication skills.
  • Skill / Behavior

    • Communicate effectively, including giving and receiving feedback.
    • Advance IP group functioning thru effectively addressing IP conflict.
    • Perform as an effective IP team member by sharing information, listening attentively, using understandable communications, providing feedback to others, and responding to feedback from others.


    • Develop awareness of contribution improvement of IP team dynamics and group processes through effective IP communication.

    Values and Ethics

    • Must be relationship centered, diversity sensitive, and be creative.


    • Describe IP team as they relate to individual team members’ values and the impact on team functioning during situations.
    • Describe the nature of IP ethical reasoning and justification.

    Skill / Behavior

    • Identify IP ethical issues within a team, use the basic skills of reasoning and justification as it relates to identified ethical issues within an IP team.


    • Describe frameworks for ethical decision-making within an IP team.

    Skill / Behavior

    • Guided by an ethics framework, contribute to IP ethical reasoning and decision-making.


    • Advance values including respect, confidentiality, trust, integrity, honesty and ethical behavior, as it relates to IP team functioning.

    Skill / Behavior

    • Perform effectively to develop shared team values.
    • Practice ethically in an IP environment.
    • Able to use a framework for ethical decision-making to guide ethical reasoning within an IP team.


    • Accept, respect and value, others and their contributions. Samples of interprofessionalism in the classroom, simulation lab, and clinical lab.


    Activity Type: Didactic Purpose: To learn standardized communication in the clinical setting to better under

    stand one another during encounters.


    • Identify the benefits of standardized communication among different health professions.

    Emergency Training

    Activity Type: Simulation Purpose: The purpose of this activity is to provide students an opportunity to practice patient centered and team-based care in a simulated emergency environment. Students apply selected skills and cope with multiple stressors while learning how to manage emergencies.


    • Discuss the importance of emergency preparedness.
    • Identify the roles of different health professionals and lay people in dealing with an emergency.
    • Recognize opportunities to utilize emergency preparedness skills in emergencies.
    • Apply emergency preparedness skills to deliver high quality patient care

    Clinical Observation: Activity Type: Clinical Purpose: For students to observe a variety of nursing roles, communication, and nurse-patient relationship in a clinical environment.


    • Describe a variety of nursing roles in the clinical setting.
    • Recognize skills and elements that make a team successful in the clinical setting.
    • Present information about a patient and a recommended plan of care as members of an interprofessional team.

    Once the Interprofessional process is tested in the classroom, simulation, and clinical environments, their effectiveness needs to be determined (Grace, 2016). In 2002, the National League of Nursing formed a statement, which supports this approach. The statement is “The teaching of nursing must be evidence-based, with research informing what is taught, how learning is facilitated and evaluated, and how curricula or programs are designed” (NLN, 2002, pg. 3).

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