Inter-professional is the art of having the proper conduct when executing out a particular action. This is the same as doing one’s work with the optimal attitudes, as well as having good values and beliefs concerning the work. The knowledge, skills, and attitude required to depend on the position and role to be played in an organization. There is a great difference between being inter-professional as a student and being inter-professional as a manager or an advanced practitioner like a nurse. Being inter-professional is the willingness to learn about the work and relating with workmates in order to improve work skills. It applies to all levels of people’s working life from the time they start their professional careers to the time they get to senior corporate positions (Hammick, Freeth, Goodsman and Copperman, 2009, p. 11).
The current inter-professional approach to delivering health services mainly differs from the old ways of working in health care. This can be described as being directed by confident longstanding, high status, as well as privileged professional groups. Medicine as a profession has the dominant professional group where doctors hold the positions of authority, which can result in conflicts within an inter-professional team. Learning and performance within health care have been dominated by the establishment of hospitals; however, this trend is currently changing as prime care becomes more popular. Moreover, offering current services to the community and client groups nowadays requires the health and social agencies to work closely together despite the difference in their priorities. Indeed, inter-professional require the ability to acknowledge and negotiate diversities in health care (Hammick, Freeth, Goodsman and Copperman, 2009, p.25).
Ways of promoting quality care through being inter-professional
The involvement of the service user and the care provider is a common theme in many regulations of proficient practice. Basically, there are correspondences and diversities in the proficient values and moral frameworks that involve practitioners in different professions. The client’s uniqueness and dignity is the nursing code of proficient conduct where care must be provided regardless of a patient’s customs, religious beliefs, or personal characteristics. Indeed, inter-professional teams may be made of professional groups from different backgrounds.
Interprofessional is brought about by collaboration in the workplace and involves working together to achieve the common goal of the team. Simply, collaboration entails the connection of differences and commonalities in a workplace, as well as the relationship workers, have among themselves. Additionally, the actions of every individual in a team may be seen as part of a wider collaborative endeavor.
Collaboration can entail various levels of proximity involving time and space. It can be sequential to bring together various steps to provide a package of seamless care. In addition, collaboration can be concurrent, with the individuals physically working together on the same overall task at the same time, for instance, a doctor and nurse may jointly attend to the same patient. Collaboration can also be found in virtual associations like research and learning, where the aim is to exchange information and ideas. Here, activities carried out in different locations are brought together for additional benefit (Meads, Ashcroft, and Barr, 2005, p.16).
Inter-professional practices require giving value to diversity in order for the team members to co-work effectively. This is where the professionals are encouraged to view clinical situations from different perspectives including; co-professionals or students, clients, and patients. Basically, it is necessary to use both deductive and inductive procedures of reasoning. Given that inter-professional practice needs more than one member to deal with an individual, bringing together the knowledge bases of different disciplines will improve the inter-professional team’s capability of working with people from diverse backgrounds. It is important that the professionals are taught various disciplines like arts, music, literature, and history so as to understand the kind of people they deal with as well as how to handle them. This will also enhance the ability to understand the various lifestyles of the people including the team members, the result of which will be a good interrelationship among the team members and the patients. The interprofessional team also needs to use the diversity in the personal backgrounds of its members, which will offer a greater opportunity for matching, for instance, when an Islamic is serving an American it will be essential for the Islamic to co-work with an American so as to understand better the American cultural and religious issues (Geva, Barsky, and Westernoff, 2000 p. 22).
There is a need for the inter-professional team members to have integration in their activities as this enhances the stability and predictability of work in an organizational context. Generally, integration leads to a collective approach to the organization of the group participating in joint meetings, joint care planning, and evaluation of care. This helps the team to plan its work as well as improve the knowledge of colleagues and patients. As the group attains allegiance and identity, it is able to promote good quality of care to the patients, more so when the team members are encouraged to be open in communication and raise the issues that concern the patients and professionals. This will increase the quality of the health care that is offered to the patients. To achieve integration, the team needs to embark on developing professional skills and knowledge as well as ensuring that the team has continuity. The result of this is that it enhances inter-professionalism as new members are absorbed into the team so as to occupy any gap that may have been left by one of the members. Moreover, continuity is essential for long-term quality services to the patients as the team continues offering quality services in absence of its pioneers (Hewison, 2004. p. 140).
Quality care requires the team to be consistent in the provision of services. This can be brought about by the colleagues in a team having enough knowledge on how to interpret the needs of the patients, thus reducing the levels of ambiguity in the cases that they deal with on daily basis. The other very important aspect of inter-professionalism is to understand each other’s roles and boundaries, an aspect that will assist in knowing when to refer the patients to the other team members for checkup and treatment; this calls for the good relationship among the team members (Hewison A, 2004. p. 140).
Ethics lie within the conceptual discipline of philosophy. The comprehension of ethics is similar to the view that one has when looking through the lens where one sees numerous vivid patterns and perspectives. The core of ethics is based on what people value as good as well as meaningful in their lives. This is related to how they are, the way they think, in addition to the way they act based on their values and how they relate to other people. Based on character development, virtue ethics is the moral approach that is related to relationships; a value is something that is highly esteemed or of excellence. Generally, what a person takes as good determines how that person develops his or her character, way of thinking, and behavior (Bulman and Schutz, 2004, p. 27).
Professional and personal values are integral to moral reasoning in nursing and are categorized in the main group of normative ethics. Generally, the reasoning is the use of abstract thought processes to solve problems and formulate plans. Moral reasoning entails making decisions about how people should act. In this case, decision-making and moral reasoning for nurses usually occurs in daily relationships between nurses and their patients and between nurses and their colleagues. Therefore, the moral reasoning of nurses is correlated to their interpersonal relationships (Ghaye, 2005, p. 122).
Ethical policies or codes can be referred to as the systematic guidelines for forming ethical behaviors in response to the normative questions of what beliefs and values ought to be ethnically accepted. However, there is no moral code that can offer complete rules that have no conflict or ambiguity. Thus, it is suggested that virtue ethics offer a more preferable approach to ethics since the emphasis is on the individual’s character and not on the rules, laws, and principles. Advocates of virtue argue that if the characters of a nurse are not virtuous, the nurse cannot be relied upon to conduct in good moral ways even with the provision of the professional code as the guiding factor. Nevertheless, professional codes are very important in providing direction to health care professionals; however, they do not eliminate the moral dilemmas and don’t offer help to professionals who are not motivated to act ethnically. The Americans Nurses Association Code of Ethics is one of them and it adopted its first code in 1950 although there have been revisions in 2001. It contains moral provisions and values for nurses to adhere to and is considered to be nonnegotiable about nursing practice. Values or principles in nursing entail an appreciation of what is significant for the nurse at a personal level and what is good for the patients (Butts and Rich, 2005. p. 35).
Impact of ethical and legal frameworks
“Ethics refers to the standards of conduct which people decide to act upon based on what they consider to be good or bad; the obligations and duties people have about good and bad acts and their outcomes; and the principles underlying decisions to conform to one or another standard of conduct” (O’Connor, 2001, p. 233). There are certain circumstances of nursing that demand attention to the ethical guidelines as well as legal requirements that control the conduct of professional nurses. In this case, the clinical instructor should take the responsibility of guiding the students’ ethical decision-making in handling moral dilemmas in the process of giving out nursing care (Hunt, 1994, p. 165). He must also recognize and communicate to students the legal restrictions within which nursing practice should take place.
All the nurses must protect the privilege of licensure by knowing the principles of care applicable to their work setting. Any deviations from these principles should be followed only when the nurses are willing to take the outcome of their misdeeds, both in form of liability as well as loss of the license (Marquis and Huston, 2008, p. 112). Negligence and poor standards of care can be a source of conflict, for instance, where some nurses are assigned duties and then fail to undertake them can result in harm and conflict. This results in a poor relationship between nurses and doctors and between nurses and the patients. There can also be incidents where the doctors become much authoritative to the nurses and this may result in conflicts in workplaces. Moreover, cases, where the nurse offers a suggestion to a certain problem, may result in a conflict if the doctor perceives that he is getting consultation from the nurse (Leathard, 1994, p. 136).
The process of education and training for various professional groups should be harmonized so as to bring cohesion in inter-professional practices. This has been one of the sources of barriers to inter-professional learning. Every health care education authorization agency should keenly review its present standards for relevance, support, and the integration of inter-professional education (Royeen, Jensen, and Harvan, 2008, p. 42). There should be a good and healthy nurse doctors relationship to assist in curbing the conflict that results from leadership. Good nurse-nurse relationships are essential in carrying out duties without negligence in order to eliminate conflicts. Moreover, good morals should be maintained at all levels in order to enhance respect and honesty in the workplace. Finally, there should be a good relationship between nurses and the patients so that the services offered can be satisfying.
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