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The Role of Inter-Professional Practice in Healthcare Context

Updated on November 24, 2021
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Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics



Inter-professional practice refer to a situation whereby; healthcare practitioners from a divergent professional background collaborate in provision of comprehensive healthcare services to patients, caregivers, families of patients, as well as communities. The goal here is to ensure that patients receive the best healthcare (Arrendondo et al, 2011). The significance of inter-professional practices in delivery of healthcare service has greatly helped in improving accesses to healthcare and healthcare outcomes. Healthcare professionals therefore need to embrace inter-professional practice. This paper looks at the roles and responsibilities of some of the members in inter-professional practice.


According to Arredondo et al (2011), there are many benefits derived from inter-professional practice. In particular, it makes practitioners use appropriate language when interacting and communicating with, patients, caregivers, their families and other healthcare workers. Further, it also leads to an understanding that all practitioners in the healthcare environment are significant in the collaborative unit or team. What is more, inter-professional practice facilitates building of trust and respect between and among members of the team. Members of the team will also find the diversity of skills complimentary in providing holistic care to patients.

There are many diverse practitioners working in different levels in inter-professional practice. Among these are registered nurses, doctors, midwives among others. Registered nurses play an important role in promoting healthcare and wellbeing of patients by performing various services. Nonetheless, a major focus for a registered nurse include taking care of patients, creating awareness and educating patients plus their caregivers concerning various health issues, such as means of prevention, and recovery. Therefore, nurses are mandated to perform assessment of patient’s needs and problems, develop and implement the required nursing care plans, as well as taking and maintain healthcare records. Further, registered nurses also liaise with physicians or pharmacists in regard to patient’s treatment plan, especially in critical situations. There are some nurses who have specialized in certain areas such as cardiac care, dermatology, neurologic care, neo-natal intensive care among other specialties. On the other hand, there are those who generalize and work with different types of patients. While taking care of their patients, nurses consult with health practitioners on a regular basis to ensure that a patient’s condition is addressed accordingly.

A doctor on the other hand is responsible for diagnosing patient’s condition, making treatment plans, and monitoring the status and progress of a patient’s condition. He or she has also a mandate of directing their helpers such nurses, those on attachment, family members and residents regarding the management of a patient’s health. The doctor is also required to latest scientific information in devising management and treatment plans for the patients as well as in all his or her practices pertaining to healthcare. Further, they are required to coordinate with other members of the department through such aspects as seeking the right information, or in making references to specialized care. Other duties involve prescription of medications and therapies, creating awareness and ensuring that the patient receives all information and details regarding a particular treatment, his or her rights, benefits, risks, demerits and other options available and monitoring the patient’s condition accordingly. The practitioners also make decisions in consultation with other care professionals such as the nurses in regard to patient care and in ensuring that all instructions are adhered to accordingly. There are many doctors with different specialties. For instance, there are those who are internists, while others are surgeons, cardiologists, neurologists, anesthesiologists and general practice doctors.

In order to operate effectively in inter-professional care environment, the need for effective communication in healthcare environment cannot be overemphasized. Those involved in healthcare delivery must be able to communicate effectively since effective coordination in service delivery depends on how well goes around. All members if an inter-professional team has to deal and interact regularly with patients, communities, families, other health professionals and staff operating in a healthcare environment. As such, they must have and utilize effective inter-professional communication skills which will enable them to make such interactions and communication in a manner that is responsive and responsible. An effective inter-professional collaboration can only be made successful through communication. Ineffective communication among team members in a healthcare environment creates a potential for unfavorable outcomes in healthcare delivery. Some of the problems that may be caused by poor communication include but not limited to surgery mishaps, diagnosis delays, adverse events in medication, failure to follow or monitor patient’s treatment.

Conclusion and Reflection

In essence, healthcare practitioners will find the experience of inter-professional collaboration and practice a valuable one in delivery of healthcare. As confirmed by various studies inter-professional practice has facilitated a transformation in healthcare delivery, sustainability in healthcare systems as well as established healthcare organizations that are viable. In addition, the increased adoption of inter-professional collaboration as a standard practice in healthcare has made it easy for members of the healthcare profession to work as a team. This has further led to enhanced, safer, patient focused healthcare system that is also population oriented.


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