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Why Interprofessional Learning and Practice?

What is Interprofessional Education?

“Occasions when two or more professions learn with, from and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of care.”
~ Centre for Advancement of Interprofessional
Education (CAIPE), 2002

In The Workforce …

The health evidence is mounting.
When health-care professionals take a collaborative, coordinated approach to care, patients/clients and their families benefit. Interprofessional teams know that it takes many perspectives, including that of the patient, to provide comprehensive care. The research is proving that care is safer, more timely, and overall, health outcomes are improved. Interprofessional collaborative care is a fundamental way to enhance the Canadian health care system and interprofessional care. (Kirby 2002, Romanow, 2002, Health Council of Canada, 2005).

The approach is satisfying.
Interprofessional teams feel more empowered and more cohesive in the care they provide. They enjoy greater job satisfaction. Over time, the IP approach can help improve recruitment and retention. It’s one of the solutions to address the health human resource shortage in Canada (HealthForce Ontario, 2007).

In The Classroom …

Learners want IP experiences.
Across Canada, health and educational institutions are partnering to provide interprofessional learning opportunities for emerging professionals. We know that learning with others who will one day work on the same care team makes sense. Students tell us they want to learn from peers in other professions. When we bring them together for collaborative learning, our graduates are better prepared to work collaboratively on entry to practice.

Educators are learning too.
Designing authentic learning experiences is a rich opportunity for educators to collaborate in planning and delivery. IP learning hones facilitation skills, because the best collaborative learning comes from the learners themselves as they discover the value of problem solving as a team. Educators become the “guide on the side” assisting the students through simulation activities, clinical learning and reflective discussion.