Exploring the professional identity of health and social care staff via experiences of interprofessional education and collaborative practice

Joynes, VCT
(2014) Exploring the professional identity of health and social care staff via experiences of interprofessional education and collaborative practice. PhD thesis, Unspecified.

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Abstract The study of professional identities in health and social care (H&SC) was last prominent in the 1980s, with social theorists and policymakers taking an interest the way in which identities and roles were formed. This thesis proposes that the study of professional identity in H&SC requires renewed attention, especially in the context of expectations that students will both train and work across professional boundaries. Specifically, the thesis questions whether experiences of interprofessional education (IPE) and collaborative practice have any impact on perceptions of professional identity for those working in H&SC, and examines how socialisation processes influence the development of ‘professional identities’ as well as considering the implications for patient care. A case study of a large-scale interprofessional programme – the ALPS CETL – is also drawn upon to examine the long-term impact of IPE initiatives on the identities and roles of staff involved in interprofessional initiatives. The empirical elements of this study consisted of surveys of practicing (n=288) and academic (n=31) staff, and interviews with participants drawn from the same groups (n=33). Drawing upon both thematic and narrative analysis of the data, the thesis argues that previous conceptualisations of professional identity aligned to a ‘whole’ profession do not relate to the way in which H&SC professionals actually perceive their identities. As respondents were far more likely to identify as being part of a branch or sub-group of a profession, it is proposed here that the concept of an ‘intra-professional identity’ is a more useful way to conceptualise the identity of H&SC professionals. More ‘senior’ professionals appeared to be more comfortable with their own professional identity, and with working across professional boundaries, than junior colleagues. This has implications for the way in which IPE is ‘taught’. Finally, in order to address identified tensions between professional identities and cross-professional working, it is proposed that the concept of ‘interprofessional responsibility’ can and should be incorporated into the professional identities of all H&SC staff.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2016 08:41
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2021 07:10
DOI: 10.17638/03002308
Open Access URL: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/7848/
  • Roberts, T
  • Kilminster, S
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3002308