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4. term, Master of Learning Processes (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
This thesis is prepared at the “Master of Learning Processes” at Aalborg University during the fall of 2010. The thesis is written by a Teaching Nurse on the School for Health Care Work and a Leading Midwife in Education.
The subject of the thesis is: “Education for interdisciplinary cooperation in the Danish Health Care System”. The background for the subject is the political attention as well nationally, regionally as locally focused on strengthening interdisciplinary cooperation and the health care system´s organizational changes leading to increased interdisciplinarity.
The educational planning of the various relevant educations that are part of these interdisciplinary contexts forms the background for asking, which form of interdisciplinarity the educational courses are targeting.
The bachelor midwifes and the vocationally trained health care workers are working together in practice, and we pose the question how the theoretical parts of the two educations are qualifying for interdisciplinarity.
In the bachelor midwifery education an interdisciplinary project with five participating professions has recently been introduced. Thesis of this project is that participation project work can promote the development of competences to work interdisciplinary. In the Health care worker education interdisciplinary projects mean that all subjects will participate in the project.
This difference leads this thesis to investigate the following problem: How can groupe based, problem oriented project work in the theoretical part of the bachelor education for midwife and the vocational education for health care workers respectively gain significance for developing competences to work together in a mutual practice across profession and vocation?
The scientific approach is deductive and is investigated qualitatively through interviews of three health care students and three midwifery students. Common for the interviewees is that they shortly before the interview have participated in a group based interdisciplinary project. The research questions are based on the ideal interdisciplinary cooperation and its necessary competences. Both derived by literature studies. The empirical investigation uncovers, whether these competences are developed in the two educations.
The datamaterial is analyzed from the point of view of a social constructivistic learning and understanding of competence. An example from practice of interdisciplinary cooperation forms the background of discussing partly the useability of the project based workmethod and partly the result of the analysis.
It can be conclused overall from the result of the analysis that the interdisciplinary project has had a large effect in terms of developing interdisciplinary cooperative competences in the midwifery education and as such helped to prepare for a cooperation across vocations and profession. To put the vocation in a context with vocational (midwifery) views on interdisciplinary problems and to describe the actions of the vocation is learned by explaining and communicating to other vocational groups. In the direct contact to other groups there is an opportunity to reach out and be investigative, and it is learned to communicate across demarcations. Thus learnings from the project can be used in cooperation with the health care workers.
By thinking beyond accustomed ways a change in attitude to the position of the vocation in an interdisciplinary cooperation will take place in the project. Less so however in case of lack of ability or courage to liberate from the vision of conventional practice.
For both educations investigated it can be concluded that group based work creates possibilities of growth in the interdisciplinary cooperative competences, practically no matter the character of the group cooperation. The prerequisite for this are the personal potentials, that are brought into the education. To gain a professional outcome seems to imply a dynamic group free of conflicts, where as a personal competence such as self-insight can be triggered by conflictive cooperation in the project group, if the personal potential is present. The conflictive group work can develop a reservation against interdisciplinary cooperation. Lack of process guidance can diminish or prevent professional learning from taking place.
The fact that there are possibilities to remain in wellknown groups during the Health care work education increases the ability to avoid inter-personal cooperation problems and thus decreases the possibility of gaining self-insight.
It will be a large and neccessary challenge for the Health care work education to clarify and define itself in the interdisciplinary cooperation. In this education the interdisciplinary project has not provided the same direct contact with other groups (professions) and it has not been learned to explain and clarify the vocation to an other group. The vocation has been learned through a well functioning group, where a profound professionalism has been obtained, which can be explained to ones own mono-professional group. The limitations of the vocation are not acknowledged, which creates problems in relation to defining one self to others.
Limitations in the projects possibilities to be outreaching on knowledge of other groups plays a part in learning about other professions and their limitations. It is therefore an unknown how other professions can contribute.
For the education to Health Care work it can be concluded overall that the interdisciplinary project does not provide equal possibilities to students in terms of developing interdisciplinary cooperative competences. Furthermore the project results in only limited development of these competences.
Publication date15 Dec 2010
Number of pages105
ID: 42367766