Sports Rehabilitation and Interprofessional Collaboration
Background: The demand for interprofessional collaboration continues to grow due to changing priorities of the health care system. The benefits of interprofessional collaboration are well documented; however, the methods of collaboration are often unclear and often difficult to put into practice. While there is a growing number of studies on the impact of interprofessional collaboration in settings such as inpatient, intensive care units, and acute care, there are limited documented cases regarding the interprofessional management of a physical therapy patient in the outpatient orthopedic private practice setting.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the reflections of a physical therapist and an athletic trainer in their experience with interprofessional collaboration, describe the barriers they have experienced that make interprofessional collaboration challenging, and to offer solutions to these barriers. The barriers discussed in the paper include limited knowledge of and respect for other professionals’ skill set, high-productivity work environments, medical hierarchy, overlapping bodies of knowledge, discrepancy between professional reasoning, territorial behavior, and ineffective communication.
Discussion: It appears that contextual factors, such as community in which the professionals practice, the healthcare setting, and the practice environment, have a far less important impact to successful collaboration than the professionals’ attitudes and investment in the collaborative efforts.
Conclusion: Collaboration between a PT and an AT can lead to power struggles and suboptimal patient care if these barriers are not overcome and collaboration may be necessary to provide the highest quality of patient care.
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