Title: Working across professional boundaries

Authors: Adele Atkinson (Senior Lecturer), Kath Start (Acting Dean)

Institution: Faculty of Health & Social Care Sciences (FHSS), Kingston University (KU) & St. George’s Hospital Medical School (SGHMS)

Session Type: Poster

Name and address of contact person: Adele Atkinson, Faculty of Health & Social Care Sciences, St. George’s Hospital Medical School, Cranmer Terrace, Tooting, London, SW17 0RE

Telephone: 020 8725 2265

Email: aatkinso@hscs.sghms.ac.uk

Five key words: Health, Interprofessional, infrastructure, boundaries, and practicalities


Proposal: The authors have considerable experience in working across professional groups (interprofessional working) and across two universities (a traditional medical school and a large multi provision university). The Faculty provides training for the NHS for nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and radiographers. It also runs interprofessional courses within the two host institutions.


SGHMS have considerable experience in using web-design as the basis for their Graduate Entry Programme (GEP) training for medical students. The FHSS IT project links with the GEP department to facilitate the development of networked learning within the FHSS.


The general principles of wound management module was chosen because of its versatility within healthcare – wound management is an issue for all of the clinical multi-professional team, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and care assistants.


Process : A storyboard was developed using a problem-based-learning approach with the patient at the cente. The storyboard starts by presenting two patients (one with a chronic wound and one with an acute wound). The patients' social and medical histories are described, along with their dietary habits, psychological issues, and events leading up to their current condition (including pictures of the wound). Leading from this is the theoretical content of the module and the knowledge & skills that are needed in order to manage the patients. This includes structure and function of the skin, physiology of wound healing, factors affecting wound healing, wound dressings, body image and accountability. The theory is linked back to the patient by a series of questions allowing students to apply the knowledge. Wound management is a visual subject, so wound images were used to aid understanding.  The storyboard was translated into a web format by courseware designers (overseen by one of the authors) and launched into the Blackboard learning management system used by the FHSS. It was designed to be as simple as possible using a 'point and click' approach.


Although initially developed from a course designed for qualified nurses, this module can be used for pre-registration nursing students, medical students and physiotherapy students. Certain elements will also be useful to radiography students. It can also be adapted for care assistants allowed to perform simple dressings.


The use of web-design and the problem-based-learning format, lends itself to healthcare education and training and will be developed further for other modules and courses within the FHSS.


Initially there was no infrastructure as the FHSS lies within two institutions and this created some initial difficulties. This allowed the FHSS to design and develop a strategy to support a web learning infrastructure within the e-learning strategies of both institutions. Working relationships with the GEP department of SGHMS were developed during the planning and implementation stages and with the Blackboard management project at KU.