A 2,000 word essay, considering the experience of inter-professional collaboration in your area of clinical practice
For the purpose of this essay, the importance of interprofessional working (IPW) in effective patient care will be discussed, along with the challenges and constraints. A patient case study will be used for example purposes; all names and places will be changed in line with Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC, 2008) guidelines. According to The British Medical Association (2005), interprofessional collaboration is loosely defined as professionals working together to improve the quality of patient care. The insurgence into creating a well-oiled professional work force is well documented throughout healthcare over the last
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These are categorised as; unequal power, different ideologies (or different goals), communication and role overlap and confusion. Unequal power in healthcare can cause problems between the staff, as the more established medical professions tend to have a greater supremacy (Baker et al, 2011). This research showed that practitioners such as doctors described themselves as working alone and as ‘leaders’, whereas nurses, therapists and other practitioners focussed more on holistic care and being a ‘team player’. Physicians also believed themselves to be at the top of the hierarchy due to length and cost of training, salary and the fact that they are ultimately liable for decisions made. Lewis (2001) identified that nursing staff received a negative reaction from other healthcare professionals when suggestions were made for nurses to lead cases due to upsetting the balance of power. It has also been suggested that nurses will submit to medical domination in day-to-day situations (Hewitt, 2002). Gender differences within hospital settings could also have an impact on power relations. Only 28% of hospital doctors are female (Ozbilgin et al, 2011) whereas nursing is female dominated at 89% (NMC, 2008). This points to the upper sector of the hierarchy being dominated by men. Heever (2011) found that 24 % of female medical students felt they were not taken seriously by their male peers, leaving an unbalanced working environment.