Inter-professional working is constantly promoted to professionals within the health and social care sector. Various terms such as interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and interagency collaboration working have been used to promote professionals to work together with the patient, carers, relations, services and other professionals (SCIE, 2009). This Paper will explore the importance of inter-professional working in nursing practice, due to nurses supporting and treating a variety of patients. This paper will discuss the general importance of inter-professionalism as part of good nursing practice, it will use examples of adult stroke patients and children who have cerebral palsy. These two conditions have been chosen because they allow the paper to explore two different age groups and the needs of patients who tend to have complex social and healthcare needs. There is also a wealth of literature available on these conditions which helps highlight the need for nurses to work effectively with other health and social care professionals, service providers and carers.
Patients’ initially tend to see nurses either alone on arrival at accident and emergency departments, or in conjunction with a medical practitioner. Therefore, the duration of time that a nurse spends with a patient tends to be longer than most other health/medical professionals (Godfrey, 2012). Ward nurses who work on hospital wards, provide care and support to admitted patients throughout their whole stay. This length of time spent with the patients allow them to be familiar with the patient, hence allowing them to recognise changes in a patient’s health and also to identify any new needs. Often, patients need to see more than one health/medical professional in their stay at the hospital, due to their health needs. Despite these professionals possessing specialist skills to support or treat specific health concerns that the patient may have, often the health recommendations that are given to the patient need to be performed routinely even when the patient is not in the presence of this specialist. Therefore, allied health professionals tend to advise, seek the support of, or hand specific recommendations over to nurses. This is often seen between nurses and physiotherapists in mobility recommendations, this is because nurses often have to mobilise a patient out of hours as recommended by the physiotherapist (Godfrey, 2012). This avoids the patient having to wait for a physiotherapist on weekends, or to become frustrated due to being in one position for long periods of time and it also supports the overall hospital service aim of better patient outcomes.