Collaborative practice (Sadler 2004) is at the forefront of health and social care training. For me, like many nursing students, the first steps in collaborative practice were the IPL (interprofessional learning) modules at university. This has been described as two or more professions being taught together as away of cultivating collaborative practice (Caipe. 2010). These modules consisted of student nurses studying different fields, OT’s, radiographers and midwifes. This was the first opportunity I had to meet other professions, who as in any project are the ones who collaborate not the institutions (UKCR 2007). Since then all the IPL modules I have completed have been with adult nursing and midwifery students, unfortunately these groups tend to keep together in there sub groups rather than as a multi-professional group. A lack of understanding of other professional pathways can lead to missed opportunities. Day(2007) states, by having a clear understanding of each others responsibilities and roles we become more effective, with members providing different but complimentary skills. When I compared this to what I saw in practice I noticed similarities.
Within our IPL groups, I started to recognise the other pathway roles and responsibilities. Now as a second year student I realise I could have made more of this. Maybe this was because it was the first year or maybe because the students didn’t know there own roles and therefore couldn’t explain them to the other
members of each group. On reflection I found at such an early stage it was difficult to understand what my role was and as the aim of the group work was to finish exercises, mine and the groups focus was task related.
A vital part of a nurses pre-registration education is good quality practice learning (NMC 2008) and by working alongside other professions exposes students to experiences greatly valued by patients(Johnson et al 2009).The IPL modules
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