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Monday, 14 July 2014

Track H - Towards Increasing Inter-Professional Learning - Experiences and observations' - Sinead Mehigan & Marion Taylor (Law) AND Jo Killingly & Renu Barton-Hanson (H&E)

Track H was on the subject of inter-professional learning and featured two separate presentations by Middlesex University colleagues. The first presentation titled “Toward increasing inter-professional learning” was led by Sienad Mehigan and Marion Taylor from the School of Health and Education. The second presentation titled “Law and Midwifery, inter-professional learning” was led by Renu Barton-Hanson, School of Law and Jo Killingley, School of Health and Education. Both presentations are available below.

Defining inter-professional learning
Both presenters defined inter-professional education and learning as that which occurs when two or more students from different disciplines learn about, from and with each other (Mehigan and Taylor, see slide 3). It was also highlighted that guidance for Nursing and Midwifery programme providers specifies a need to provide students with a chance to collaborate with other health and social care professionals in both academic settings and the workplace.

A common misconception is that professionals from different health sectors must know how to work together and that they must be able to share information easily between services. It was said that in practice such misconceptions are being tackled by the creation of new service bodies that focus on coordinating diverse and scattered efforts.

Examples in Higher Education
Sinead and Mehigan encouraged collaboration by organising an inter-professional symposium for final year Nursing and Midwifery students. Symposium themes included:

escalating concerns,
substance use,
refugee care issues and

The themes were facilitated by Adult Nursing, Mental Health and Midwifery professionals.

Jo and Renu organised a teaching event that brought together 3rd year Law and Midwifery students to share knowledge and practice. Renu selected some case studies about forced C section for students from both disciplines to debate that were followed by group work discussions. The collaboration between Law and Midwifery helped address a fear of litigation and the practice of defensive medicine that were identified in research.

The main challenges were related to organising large cohorts with different timetables. In the collaboration between Law and Midwifery this resulted in Midwifery students outnumbering law students 5:1.

Feedback was good, lecturers thought midwives would be daunted by law students but the reverse was true. Snapshot, verbal and written feedback from students highlighted key benefits such as that midwives had not appreciated how key their documentation was in providing lawyers with a picture of events involved in legal claims.

What next?
There has been a snowball effect that is resulting in research proposals around why midwives fear the law and future symposia and evening seminars with interdisciplinary panel (Health and Law: roundtable seminars).

Session video
Report by Tarek Zoubir, Academic Developer, Centre for Academic Practice Enhancement

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