In a new paper published by Philip Clark in the Journal of Interprofessional Care, he argues that health and social care professionals are increasingly using narrative approaches to focus on the patient and to communicate with each other. Both effective interprofessional education (IPE) and practice (IPP) require recognizing the various values and voices of different professions, how they relate to the patient’s life story, and how they interact with each other at the level of the healthcare team. Clark’s article analyzes and integrates the literature on narrative to explore: self-narrative as an expression of one’s professional identity; the co-creation of the patient’s narrative by the professional and the patient; and the interprofessional multi-vocal narrative discourse as co-constructed by members of the healthcare team. Using a narrative approach to thinking about professional identity, provider–patient communication, and interprofessional teamwork expands our thinking about both IPE and IPP by providing new insights into the nature of professional practice based on relationships to oneself, the patient, and others on the team. How professionals define themselves, gather and present information from the patient, and communicate as members of a clinical team all have important dimensions that can be revealed by a narrative approach. Implications and conclusions for the further development of the narrative approach in IPE and IPP are offered.
For further information see: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13561820.2013.853652