Since the turn of the century, there has been a significant growth in literature emphasizing the need to develop collaborative relationships in health and social services. One of the most critical factors in the accomplishment of this objective is professional partnerships. Similarly, there is also a growing focus on the family health as a means of supporting social health (Health Canada, 2004). Among the health professionals that have become most active in this objective are nursing professionals because of their position as front liners in health and social programs.In the article “Family health teams: Can health professionals learn to work together?”, the authors discussed the nursing partnerships with pharmacy, speech pathology, physical and occupation therapy, social and medical services (Soklaridis et al, 2007). Utilizing six to eight member focus group discussions (FGD) with a total of thirty-six participants, the study concluded that the most critical issues to be addressed is the absence of a definite consensus on opportunities for academic family health teams, the nonexistence of interprofessional collaboration in existing educational programs among the health professionals participating in the study and need for the universal the definition of interprofessional education (IPE) across health professions.
Family health care is a fundamental concern among health professionals and therefore, the need for effective collaborative efforts in “educating and training students collaboratively would be required to support a shift toward interprofessional teams in practice”, particularly by nursing professionals, should be considered a priority (p. 1197). This opinion is supported by the fact that though there is a an existing professional recognition of the need for these collaboration, many nursing and health professional training and education programs are still considered insulated to each other. Therefore, nursing collaboration is not only necessary on professional practice but should emanate from the educational and fundamentals of health professions.
This is not only in the interest of developing collaboration but is necessary if long term productive and effective partnerships among health professionals are to be established.ReferenceHealth Canada (2004). Interprofessional education for collaborative patient-centred practice. Ottawa, Ont: Health CanadaSoklaridis, Sophie Oandasan, Ivy and Kimpton, Shandra (2007).
Family health teams: Can health professionals learn to work together? Can Fam Physician Vol. 53, No. 7, July. pp.1198 – 1199.