A Reflection of the Skills Acquired from Inter-Professional Education and How They May Be Applied in Practice

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A reflection on the skills acquired from collaborative learning and how they may be applied in practice

The Inter-professional Education (IPE) module is about students from different healthcare professions who learn together about the concepts of health care and how to improve patient care and health services in general. Reynolds (2005) defined IPE as “…collaborative working and the sharing of common goals in relation to the patient /client care or therapy.” Throughout this reflective assignment, I will be discussing what I have learnt from the topics in this module and how I think my learning may be applied in practice. To structure my discussions and analysis, I will be using the Rolfe et al (2001) reflective model. Reflection on anything is necessary for successful learning; Gibbs (1988) states, “the feelings and thoughts developed through reflection are what generate concepts and it is through these concepts that we learn”.

IPE allowed me to work together with colleagues who have similar values on the health of patients and benefit to communities to share ideas on how patient care, quality and effectiveness on health services could be improved. Through this, I gained a reasonable insight into what colleagues from different healthcare professions do and how they contribute to patient care and health services.

In the IPE module, I was allocated into a group where there was a variety of healthcare programmes, which included Pharmacy, Radiography, Adult Nursing and Paramedics. As a group, our roles were the same because we discussed several different topics linked into the concept of professionalism for healthcare professionals, which consisted of communication, consent, safeguarding, ethics and diversity. This was a great platform to share my thoughts with my colleagues and it enhanced my listening skills because most of the group contributed and had their own opinions, which, as a healthcare professional, one has to respect.

IPE was a good module in the sense that students could learn off one another and improve their key skills in working together to get ready for the ‘real’ inter-professional interactions. By this, I mean that university-professional education is very different from interactions with professional groups, this is supported by the London Deanery (2011), where they state that, “…it [university-professional education] does not achieve the additional outcomes of inter-professional education.” In my opinion, the only downfall to IPE was that the module itself wasn’t that active and engaging. I believe that it would have benefitted everybody further if we actually had the chance to put our thoughts and findings into more of a real practice - either a role play or a real scenario.

Some contributions I made concerning communication and consent with patients were based on my previous work experience in a dental surgery. For example, when we discussed the issue of consent, I raised a point stating that before the procedure, the Dentist went through exactly what he was going to be doing and asked if it was alright to go ahead. This was a form of expressed consent as the patient orally said that she was happy to go ahead with the procedure (Canadian Medical Protective Association, 2006). He also told the patient to raise her hand if she was feeling any pain, which is a vital part of communication. This made the patient feel safe, knowing that she was in caring hands. This method taught me that as a professional, you have to know exactly what you are doing i.e. making the patient comfortable, telling the patient what you are going to be doing or in a Pharmacist’s case, try to find out what is wrong with the patient and advise the patient in the best way possible.

A few colleagues from my group contributed a lot and this showed me that they were really engaged and most likely had a lot of experience of putting what they learnt into practice. To improve the discussion and for everyone to learn...
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