Inter-professional learning can be defined as a collaboration between different healthcare professionals, who work together as a team to manage a patient’s care.1 This helps reduce barriers and recognises that members of the multi-disciplinary team each have their own different skill set that can be utilised efficiently to achieve good clinical practise. 

During my second year, we had a video call with healthcare students from Robert Gordon University. We went through clinical cases together, and each student gave input as to what they could do within their role. The first case was an 82-year-old male patient who lived by himself at home and had an unwitnessed fall. It was discussed that it would be in the patient’s best interests to possibly move him to sheltered housing, which required social work input. If that wasn’t possible, then carers would need to come in multiple times a day to ensure he was being washed, fed, and taking his medications correctly. The dietician student said she would request additional blood tests to identify any deficiency. She would ensure he is having a nutritious diet that would help him recover from his fall. Any additional supplementation might be prescribed by a doctor if he wasn’t taking enough of any specific nutrient from his diet. His activity levels had fallen since his fall, so physiotherapy students said they would give input in this department and help restore mobility and function from his injury. The patient had recently lost his wife, so bereavement counselling from a psychologist might be useful too. Radiographers would do follow-up scans and the GP would take a good history to see if there was an underlying cause for his fall.

Another example is when I shadowed a midwife for 12 hours during my obstetrics placement in fourth year. This made me appreciate the role of midwives and I understood they are there throughout the circle of life; from supporting the patient before their child is born right through to when the baby is delivered. Midwives have to check the mother and foetus are healthy by monitoring both their observations. They monitor the foetal heart rate and uterine contractions. They physically feel the uterine contractions to time how long they last- whilst managing the mother’s discomfort felt during them. They catheterise the patient, give prophylactic antibiotics and gastric protection tablets. When the baby is born, they check the placenta is okay and take blood from the umbilical vessels. They measure the baby’s length, occipitofrontal circumference and give Vitamin K injections to improve clotting factors. During all of this, she was testing my knowledge and teaching me, all of which must have been exhausting for her. Yet she had a smile on her face the entire time and was happy to help me!

The IPE programme and shadowing other healthcare professionals has made me a better team-member. By using these opportunities for healthcare professionals to collaborate with one another, we help reduce barriers between professions and achieve top quality of care for patients. 


Joseph S, Diack L, Garton F, Haxton J. Interprofessional education in practice. Clin Teach. 2012 Feb;9(1):27-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-498X.2011.00486.x. PMID: 22225889.

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