Educating Professionals: Practice Learning in Health and Social Care.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: Liggins, Jennifer
Pub Date: 03/22/2011
Publication: Name: Journal of Health and Human Services Administration Publisher: Southern Public Administration Education Foundation, Inc. Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Government; Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Southern Public Administration Education Foundation, Inc. ISSN: 1079-3739
Issue: Date: Spring, 2011 Source Volume: 33 Source Issue: 4
Topic: NamedWork: Educating Professionals: Practice Learning In Health And Social Care (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Doel, Mark; Shardlow, Steven M.
Accession Number: 250033489
Full Text: Educating Professionals: Practice Learning In Health And Social Care

Edited By: Mark Doel and Steven M. Shardlow

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited

Publication Date: April 2009

Format: Hardcover

Extent: 322 pages

ISBN: 978-0-7546-4810-9

Educating Professionals is a written account of how a representative sample of health and social care professions (nine in this book) educate students to the profession through direct engagement with patients and service users in community settings-also known as practice based learning. This book also explores the areas of similarity and differences between the nine professions and how interprofessional learning can be beneficial to both the patient and the healthcare providers. Mark Doel and Steven M. Shardlow have collaborated to design a much needed resource to direct work-based learning which surpasses the current standards of teaching and learning.

Dole and Shardlow primarily focused on the education of professionals at the student level. Each chapter also took into consideration issues concerning continuing professional development for qualified practitioners. There are nine professions discussed (community health nurse, doctor, health visitor, midwife, nurse, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, social worker, speech and language therapist). Once each profession has been discussed in detail Doel and Sharlow explain the need for interprofessional practice education and learning. The authors began to discuss interprofessional practice education and learning in three layers. First- teaching professionally qualifying students, second- teaching practice educators to prepare students from their own profession, and third- teaching practice educators to provide learning and to contribute to the assessment of different professions. Numerous successful interprofessional learning models currently in use were identified.

Dole and Sharlow, through case studies, focus on the experiences of students' learning in practice settings: organization, methods used, and how students are assessed. The book is a vital source of information in regards to the challenges students face because of statutory bodies and their regulations. Also through case studies, Dole and Sharlow show and overlaps that healthcare professionals face when working together on a common patient examples of how interprofessional learning strengthens not only the student but also the healthcare profession as a whole.

There are some weaknesses in Dole and Sharlow's research. Though successful interprofessional learning models were identified, literature suggests that many are still "pilots" and few have made it to professional training. Most are offered in practice settings because they are found to be more effective. In the same token, participating students are not assessed there for the effectiveness cannot truly be measured (Dole and Sharlow pg 230). Also, when using case studies to show the similarities and overlap between the professions, the authors used professions which are closely related in education and training. For example, similarities are frequently referenced between doctors and nurses or social worker and occupational therapist. In which case, these professions (within a community setting) can easily be interchanged.

There is no denying that Educating Professionals is a great asset for students and professionals in health and social care. In a time where healthcare is being reformed (here in the U.S.) the importance of interprofessional education and learning is greater than ever before.

Interprofessional education and learning could be the key to affordable healthcare. The U.S. could benefit from being able to have a social worker know the fundamentals of an occupational therapist and if need be fill in. This type of education and learning could dramatically cut costs. However, if interprofessional learning is to be transcended across professions, I would like to see professions not closely related cross trained, i.e. social worker/doctor or physiotherapist/health visitor. Nevertheless, the moving of interprofessional education and learning into the mainstream of professional education is critical in today's health and social care system.


Montefiore Medical Center
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.