Collaborative practice “…. occurs when healthcare providers work with people from within their own profession, with people outside of their profession, and with patients/clients and their families.” (The Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative CIHC, February 2009). An important note is that trust and value is required so that healthcare providers can consult with each other without worrying about seeming unknowledgeable.
Way, Jones and Baskerville (2001) identify 7 essential elements for collaboration: mutual trust and respect, autonomy, responsibility, communication, coordination, assertiveness and cooperation. Interprofessional education (IPE) can enable students and practitioners to learn these elements, knowledge and skills to practice interprofessional collaborative practice.
The most appropriate way for students to learn to practice in a collaborative and interprofessional manner is through IPE. The definition of IPE commonly used is from the Centre on Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE, 2002) which states that “IPE occurs when two or more professions learn with, from and about each other in order to improve collaboration and the quality of care.”
IPE for health professions is becoming a major movement in our changing health and education environments and through which there are many benefits for patients, health care providers, students, and quality and rewarding work environments.
A helpful resource is “Frequently asked questions about interprofessional education” by CIHC which can be accessed at http://www.cihc.ca/resources/faqs.
The Faculty of Nursing is committed to incorporating IPE into the Four Year Baccalaureate Nursing Program. In addition to the recognition that collaborative practice contributes to positive outcomes such as patient safety, quality care and improved working environments the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM) Standards for Nursing Education Programs (2007) requires the inclusion of interprofessional leaning opportunities for students. Another driver is Health Canada which has funded the Accreditation of Interprofessional Health Education (AIPHE) initiative currently underway to accredit pre-licensure interprofessonal education programming for six Canadian health professions: nursing, medicine, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, and social work.
Prof. Fiona Jensen (Fiona.Jensen@ad.umanitoba.ca) is the Coordinator of IPE at the Faculty of Nursing and in that role is a member of the University of Manitoba IPE Liaison Advisory Group and the Faculty of Nursing Curriculum Development Committee. In addition, there are a number of nursing faculty members actively participating on a number of IPE working groups and other initiatives such as the student run WISH clinic (http://wish.med.umanitoba.ca/).