Medicine and nursing: A social contract to improve collaboration and patient-centred care?
While research has indicated that professionals can work in an effective manner spread across the continuum of care, professional biases, boundary protectionism and little opportunity to develop interprofessional competence has made effective collaboration extremely difficult (e.g. Gibbon, 1999; Reeves & Lewin, 2004; Skjorshammer, 2001; Zwarenstein, Goldman, & Reeves, 2009). The oldest of the two health professions – medicine and nursing – are particularly imbedded in this problematic relationship. In this editorial, the authors argue that this combination of historical roles and practice patterns, as well as a lack of understanding of the social contract each profession has with patients, limits broad adoption of effective collaborative practice and impairs patient-centred care.
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