Are we there yet ??


In our MeshVr meeting yesterday we discussed interdisciplinary (health school) handover with the hope of developing a technology based continuum of care from Physiotherapy to Paramedic to Nurse. Great idea as more often than not each group works in isolation to each other with limited understanding of the skills, knowledge or benefits each group can offer. In reality, the clinical handover may be the only face to face professional contact each group has, therefore the development of an inter-school, inter-professional relationship outside of the occasional contact can only provide benefit and a greater understanding of each others ability.

So at the risk of sounding like a four year old, I have to admit that I am always in a rush to get things done. I was the child in the back of the car asking “are we there yet”? With this in mind, and on review of the project in hand, I could not help but feel that the key point of handover is the communication of pertinent clinical information from one health professional to another. Analysis and assimilation can then help to form subsequent treatment and management. I have to admit that for me this project did not meet my criteria, as I felt that the essence of the handover would be lost within the confines of technology. What I mean by this is that I didn’t  understand what the benefit was of using a 360-degree image and a structured or expected series of questions. In my mind, the to-ing and fro-ing of information between the two health professionals relates to the crux of the concept. I wanted to get out of the car now as I didn’t understand how this would work.     I kept thinking “are we there yet” ???

Well almost……. it was at this point that the voice of reason, the voice of experience, the voice of Thom announced the magic words “Scaffolding”. Scaffolding, of course was the key point missing in my point of view. What I had failed to realise is that not every student is equipped with the  knowledge or understanding of what handover should be. More importantly, not all students will have the experience of how to structure a handover. So with the penny firmly dropped, I started to realise the project direction. I understood the importance of each groups interaction at its most basic level. I understood that if we can develop inter-professional, inter-disciplinary collegial working relationships, we can help to develop a profession, disciplined, health-care environment. In essence not just a handover but the basis of how to interact and how to communicate.

As mentioned previously, I am always in a rush to get things done. I enjoy the view from the top of the scaffold and I can be somewhat lazy and want to take the lift, but what I have to remember  is that you cannot place your scaffold on unsteady ground and when you do start to build upwards, you have to do this with care and structure. When you are at the top of the scaffold the view is almost certainly fantastic and in addition to this view one can reflect on the knowledge and learning  made. Most importantly, you can view the car that brought you to the base of the scaffold and see the journey made.

So are we there yet?  Not quite! But we are in the car and I know the direction and how long it will take to get there.