english.prescrire.org > Spotlight > Archives : 2014 > In the name of better healthcare: different professions training together, in all independence

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In the name of better healthcare: different professions training together, in all independence

By participating in education programmes together, healthcare professionals from different fields of practice get to know one another and learn to work together.

The various healthcare professions need to get to know one another in order to work together, and for well-coordinated, multidisciplinary patient care. However, practitioners from the various healthcare professions don't really know each other very well, and don't really know what the others know how to do, and actually do. The development of interprofessional training programmes in medical education and continuing education designed to "learn how to work together" is a good way to improve cooperation.

A teaching programme in Rennes, in France's Brittany region, has been a hit year after year with the dozens of students who have taken part: dieticians, occupational therapists, nurses, general practice interns, physical therapists, pharmacists, podiatrists, midwives. Over six days, they learn together to "become aware of the ideas one has of the other professions. Let it out." "Be able to describe the work that one's profession does, the links with other professions, and the help that they can provide to each other", etc.

For healthcare professionals, better educating oneself to improve the quality of care also means educational programmes that are removed from the economic influence of the makers of medical products. Various studies have shown that medical students have frequent contacts with pharmaceutical companies and that these contacts influence their attitudes. In the US, one of the leading medical students' associations is urging universities to train students in how to understand and to thwart pharmaceutical promotion, and to adopt stricter policies in terms of conflicts of interest and refusing gifts.

Teachers and students in the healthcare professions have a key part in preventing drug companies from moving in and playing a role that is not rightfully theirs in healthcare professionals' education and practice.

©Prescrire 1 August 2014

Source: "Préparer l'avenir pour mieux soigner" Rev Prescrire 2014 ; 34 (370).

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