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The interprofessional practitioner: changing professional identity in social work

The interprofessional practitioner: changing professional identity in social work

Sims, David (2008) The interprofessional practitioner: changing professional identity in social work. In: 10th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference with the 2nd UK Social Work Conference, 9-10 July 2008, Homerton College, Cambridge.

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Twenty years ago the first joint training programme in learning disability nursing and social work was established as a collaborative project to develop practitioners able to work holistically with people with learning disabilities. Since then a number of programmes have continued this work and more recently the approach has developed in the mental health specialism. These programmes have changed the nature of singular social work education and created a new region of knowledge (Bernstein, 2000) for those who have experienced them.
What began as a radical experiment in interprofessional education has been sustained by a strong commitment to the belief that the practitioners who qualify from such programmes are well equipped to support people with learning disabilities in changing and multi-professional services. As with much interprofessional education, however, there is an ongoing need to build an evidence base linking such education with successful outcomes in practice.
This paper presents and explores the outcomes of a doctoral research study aimed at evaluating the impact of joint training in learning disability nursing and social work on the professional identity, skills and working practices of practitioners who undertook it. The research was undertaken with almost fifty jointly trained practitioners and involved a national survey followed by semi-structured interviews. The results suggest that practitioners who experience the dual socialisation inherent in this type of training found both gains and losses in the process. They appear to emerge, however, with a confidence, resilience and breadth of knowledge which were part of the early vision for this transformative approach to professional training.
Bernstein B. (2000). Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity. Theory, Research, Critique. Revised Edition. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield (USA).

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: professional identity, social work
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care
School of Health & Social Care > Family Care & Mental Health Department
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:06

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