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A grounded theory of interprofessional learning and paramedic care


Mulholland, P and Barnett, T and Woodroffe, J, A grounded theory of interprofessional learning and paramedic care, Journal of Interprofessional Care ISSN 1356-1820 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

DOI: doi:10.1080/13561820.2019.1635095


Interprofessional learning (IPL) is a dynamic process. It incorporates adult learning principles and requires active participation. Contemporary paramedic care typically involves collaboration with other health-care professionals. However, little is known about how paramedics work and construct meaning within this interprofessional milieu. Rural areas, where professional collaboration is well illustrated, provide an opportune setting from which to conduct the examination of IPL and paramedic care. Twenty-six participants took part in this investigation. Participants were paramedics and other professionals involved in collaboration in rural locations across the state of Tasmania, Australia. Rural Tasmania provided a diverse range of paramedic practice for investigation, including traditional (pre-hospital) care, extended care, volunteer services, and hospital-based practices. A grounded theory approach was adopted, and semi-structured interviews used to collect critical incidents in which participants described effective and less effective episodes of collaboration. Memos were kept during the research process. Analysis of data followed a process of initial and then focused coding from which the main concepts could be determined. From 75 episodes of collaboration, three main concepts emerged to create a theory of IPL and paramedic care. Relationships included reciprocity and respect, as well as professional acknowledgment. Cooperation recognized professionals as interdependent practitioners adopting open communication. Operational barriers identified contextual features under which professionals work, with constituent categories of protecting turf, and workplace culture. The findings provide new insight into IPL and paramedic care. Hierarchy, professional dominance, and gender disparity emerged as barriers to IPL. Knowledge and skills were shared between professions and this influenced how individuals interacted within interprofessional teams. A successful collaboration produced a clinical environment where patient care was informed by contributions from all team members.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Grounded theory, qualitative, collaboration, interprofessional learning, paramedics, power
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Rural and remote health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)
UTAS Author:Mulholland, P (Mr Peter Mulholland)
UTAS Author:Barnett, T (Associate Professor Tony Barnett)
UTAS Author:Woodroffe, J (Dr Jessica Woodroffe)
ID Code:134146
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2019-07-31
Last Modified:2021-01-04

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