The dynamics of inter-professional relationships and how they impact inter-professional working and the quality of care There are certain professions in which the professional working in the working environment does not need to directly interact with the customer or the people they wish to benefit…
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Examples of this would include professions such as interior designing or perhaps construction work. In these types of professions, there is a strictly one-on-one relationship. That is to say, one consumer is dealt with by one professional, and that consumer is not directly concerned with the other professionals in that particular workplace. Another example of professions however is one where an entire setting is expected to cater to the needs of one person, as a collective and collaborative team effort. The most prime example of this is any profession related to the medical sector, be it a doctor, a physiotherapist, or most importantly a nurse. In these sort of professions, inter-professional relationships are extremely important to consider and in fact can be the key to successful collaboration and would therefore have a direct impact on the comfort and satisfaction of the patient. This begs the questions of what exactly inter-professional working is. Loosely defined, the concept of various professionals working together towards the care of one particular patient is referred to as inter-professional working. More specifically, the definition of inter-professional working, as defined by Waddingtion (2007) is '…care which involves professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. nursing, social work, medicine and physiotherapy) working together more effectively, often in teams, to improve the quality of care provided to individuals, families and communities'. In other words, inter-professional working involves professionals collaborating to work together more effectively to improve the quality of patient care. Although the practice is age old in specialized fields such as the medical field, official recognition of the term and a deeper study into the development of these inter-professional relationships began after an NHS developed research study in 2000. Official education being imparted to develop inter-professional relationships and the effect on a patient's care were examined and methods were researched on making these relationships more effective towards a patient's benefit. Inter-professional relationships, as mentioned, is basically emphasis on a collaborative collective effort rather than an individual one. Which means, that instead of having each professional only concerned with his own area of interest, each would have a fairly sound level of knowledge about each area of interest, thereby enabling them to have greater confidence in their own area and work in harmony with other professionals working towards the care of a patient. As stated by Mahmood-Yousuf (2008) this also means that it encourages a team of professionals to share knowledge and therefore to have more sound knowledge and understanding of the medical issues at hand, which in turn enables them to take improved decisions in regard to the patient's health, not only in accordance to their own area of expertise, but rather in a general light. Sherwin (2009) reiterates this view and in addition says that it provides more confidence to the professional as well, since they have a fair amount of trust on the fact that their decision will not conflict with any other decision in regard to the patient. In the long run, this would increase job satisfaction and reduce situations where conflict arises between two professionals wor
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