Maintaining Competence in Inter-Professional Practice: It Takes an Inter-Professional Village
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Clinical competence is essential for all health professionals to ensure that patients receive the highest possible quality of professional services. Yet, there are many threats to professional competence that health professionals must confront and deal with on an ongoing basis. Challenges may include aspects of the professional work we do, stressors and challenges in our professional lives, and how they interact. Ongoing life stressors, competing demands, and related challenges can lead to symptoms of distress and the development of burnout, which may adversely impact one’s professional competence. Further, health professionals may suffer from emotional distress and mental health challenges that can degrade professional competence.
This poster presentation focuses on how to develop and effectively utilize a culture of competence in interprofessional practice settings to include clinical, training, and educational settings. Research demonstrates health professionals’ limited ability to self-assess their own competence, especially when it is threatened or degraded. Further, professions’ ethics codes focus on the reporting of unethical behavior but neglect the important obligation to act proactively to promote ethical conduct and competence among colleagues. Professionals working in interprofessional practice have a unique opportunity to develop a communitarian culture that promotes proactively supporting each other in a safe environment. Examples of strategies used include developing and actively utilizing competence constellations; modeling transparency, openness, and help seeking behaviors with colleagues and trainees; and creating a collaborative and safe holding environment in which threats to competence and personal challenges can be addressed in a respectful and helpful manner that promotes professional competence.