"They have no idea of what we do or what we know": Australian graduates' perceptions of working in a health care team.

Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Nurse Education in Practice, 2014, 14 (5), pp. 544 - 550
Issue Date:
2014-09
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Globally it has been suggested that interprofessional education can lead to improvements in patient safety as well as increased job satisfaction and understanding of professional roles and responsibilities. In many health care facilities staff report being committed to working collaboratively, however their practice does not always reflect their voiced ideologies. The inability to work effectively together can, in some measure, be attributed to a lack of knowledge and respect for others' professional roles, status and boundaries. In this paper, we will report on the findings of an interpretative study undertaken in Australia, focussing specifically on the experiences of new graduate nurses, doctors and pharmacists in relation to 'knowing about' and 'working with' other health care professionals. Findings indicated there was little understanding of the roles of other health professionals and this impacted negatively on communication and collaboration between and within disciplines. Furthermore, most new graduates recall interprofessional education as intermittent, largely optional, non-assessable, and of little value in relation to their roles, responsibilities and practice as graduate health professionals. Interprofessional education needs to be integrated into undergraduate health programs with an underlying philosophy of reciprocity, respect and role valuing, in order to achieve the proposed benefits for staff and patients.
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