The Importance of Interprofessional Collaboration

Facilitating Smooth Transports

Interprofessional Collaboration (IPC) is simply when providers of different disciplines work together with the families they serve to offer optimal care. Sounds easy, right? Well, it’s complicated.

There are a number of challenges to effective IPC. First of all, home birth is still somewhat countercultural and it brings with it a lot of preconceived ideas. This may impact other providers’ willingness to work together. As those of us providing community birth services know, there are assumptions and misinterpretations of our work made very frequently. Add to this a stressful situation, different personalities and skill sets (including communication and teamwork skills), and top it off with previous personal experiences, and you have a recipe for anything but smooth collaborations.

Gina became fascinated with IPC as a discipline unto itself during her practice, and decided to focus on creating a workshop that would teach skills for improving IPC for her Masters of Midwifery degree at Midwives College of Utah. So, for the past two years, she has been living and breathing all things IPC.

Now, at the culmination of her program, she is pleased to be able to offer two avenues for improving this important skill set. First, she created a 4-hour, in-person workshop designed for community midwives and local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel to come together and learn about this topic. The simple act of learning together is one of the most effective ways to teach IPC skills, but the workshop doesn’t stop there–it is full of case studies, role-plays, and skill-building activities. If you’d like to register for our upcoming event in Denver this fall, please do so here. (This workshop offers 4 CEUs by MEAC [for midwives] and CAPCE [for EMS personnel].)

Midwife, Geneva Montano, engaging in effective IPC.
Photo courtesy of Hillary Kaye Photography

But because we live local to Denver and have a busy practice, it was obvious that there needed to be a way to provide this information to other communities. Therefore, the second part of the full curriculum is a Train-the-Facilitator course aimed at teaching midwives to provide the in-person workshop in their own communities. This course is now offered as part of the Midwives College of Utah’s Well Midwife Series. (This training offers 8 CEUs by MEAC.)

While teaching skills for IPC isn’t always straightforward, especially within the context of these stressful emergency transfers, it is so important that we all work to improve our practice. Good IPC skills lead to better outcomes, better service delivery, and improved client satisfaction. It is important!

Though these workshops focus on midwife-EMS interactions, these are skills that will serve to improve IPC between any number of collaborators: physicians, nurses, other midwives…the list of possibilities is endless! We hope to see you at a training soon!