Introducing interprofessional education
Link to publisher version (URL)
Health professionals everywhere are working with a more damaged, more dependent and more demanding clientele than in the past: in wealthier countries resulting most obviously from the number of older people living longer with chronic, complex and multiple problems; in poorer countries from the number of families at the mercy of infant mortality, malnutrition, the killer childhood diseases and the HIV pandemic (WHO, 2009). Professionals under pressure to respond to these situations have three choices: to set aside those problems for which they have neither authorisation nor training; to go beyond their roles at risk of stress and overload for themselves and less than adequate care for their patients; or to work more closely with other professions to spread the load and respond more fully to the range of needs (Barr & Gray, forthcoming). The third option may seem self-evident, but as the interprofessional literature confirms (Meads, Ashcroft, Barr, Scott, & Wild, 2005), it is easier said than done. How then can professional education best prepare the entry-level practitioner?