What professional language do you speak?
Exploring inter-disciplinary communication with nursing and social work students via SADRAS Project initiative.
The inter-disciplinary learning project invited undergraduate adult nursing and social work students from a London university to take part in a research activity focusing on communication between the two disciplines. The project aimed to provide a direct contribution to the students’ retention and progression, and to enhance students understanding of inter-disciplinary working at early stages of their professional careers. Students were observed during a table-top exercise in which they jointly worked on deciding priorities of care for a complex family situation. They reflected on the activity afterwards, sharing an interesting outlook on their interactions. The project confirmed the significance of inter-disciplinary learning and teaching. Most importantly however, it recognised that effective, collaborative inter-disciplinary working requires time to develop, maintain and grow. The study demonstrated that we do not all speak the same professional language. It emphasised the need for sustainable longitudinal approach with opportunities for inter-professional interactions and collaborative learning and teaching. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the project findings with a brief consideration of its impact. While contemplating ‘professional language’ relevant to each discipline, we aim to revisit conversation on teaching and learning for inter-disciplinary communication in the Higher Education setting.
Keywords: inter-disciplinary communication, interprofessionality, nursing and social work students, interprofessional working