On-The-Job Cross Pollination Part 1

This four part article sites: Fagan, E. , Knoepfel, E. , Panther, K.  & Grames, L. M. (2013, June 01). On-The-Job Cross Pollination. The ASHA Leader.

It’s the new buzzword that’s everywhere: “interprofessional.” In health care, providers from different disciplines increasingly collaborate to provide the quality, patient-centered care called for in the Affordable Care Act. In K–12 schools, teachers and other specialists have long worked together on students’ individualized education programs. And in graduate programs, faculty are stepping up efforts to offer training with other departments.

But what if you didn’t get interdisciplinary training in your graduate program? And even if you did, did you get enough to feel prepared for teamwork? Here’s where continuing education comes in: Many of us rely on formal and informal CE opportunities to learn about—and with—other professionals. Real-world experience is, after all, a highly effective teacher.

Not that workplace learning in interprofessional teams is anything new. Interprofessional diagnostic and treatment teams are a fixture in hospitals and clinics, as are IEP teams in schools. However, the best interprofessional teams don’t just work together—they learn together by constantly interacting, giving feedback, honing skills together, learning from one another and sharing information.

It doesn’t end there: Many work-based teams also take CE courses together to boost others’ buy-in to new techniques and information. We’ve all been excited to try something we learned at a CE workshop, only to find that colleagues who didn’t attend the workshop don’t share our enthusiasm.

Recognizing that joint learning helps break down such barriers, more employers offer ways for staff to learn about one another’s disciplines elbow-to-elbow. Here’s a look at some of these opportunities offered by ASHA’s approved CE providers.

(They are in Parts 2, 3, and 4 of On-The-Job Cross Pollination which appear after this article).

Ellen Fagan, EdD, CCC-SLP, ASHA director of continuing education


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