The Importance of Becoming an Integrated Health Professional (IHP)

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Healthcare professionals work to serve the community and provide good quality care. A high standard of patient-centred care is achieved through the amalgamation of the central values of an Integrated Health Professional (IHP) (Olckers, Gibbs, Duncan 2007:2). Through a family member’s experience with a healthcare professional I have personally learnt the importance of becoming an IHP which will be discussed further. The IHP Framework: The IHP Framework is a model that outlines the core concepts of becoming a competent health professional. The IHP framework is used to develop one’s self as a health professional that is not only knowledgeable and skilled in their field of work but is equally empathetic and reflective, allowing care to be provided to all patients with respect, responsibility and the highest standard of ethics. This all-encompassing approach to health allows for constant growth and improvement by encouraging an awareness of self through reflection. It guides students to a deeper understanding of professionalism and its dimensions in their specific work environment by focusing on integrating the three central components: the knowing; empathic and reflective. The IHP framework creates a balanced foundation of professionalism on which life-long learning and improvement is nurtured. (Olckers, Gibbs, Duncan 2007:2) Knowing Dimension: The knowing dimension focuses on gaining the relevant information and understanding of healthcare as well as the skills needed to provide it. It also encompasses the “appropriate application” of this knowledge. It is founded in prior knowledge and continually enhanced by life-long learning to ensure accountability and responsibility. The field of health care, which develops and changes, req... ... middle of paper ... ... professional that can provide holistic practice and ensure constant development and innovation. (Olckers, Gibbs, Duncan 2007:2) Reference List: Olckers, L. Gibbs, T. & Duncan, M. 2007. Developing health science students into integrated health professionals: a practice tool for learning. BMC Medical Education 7:145 Gibson, Swartz & Sandenbergh 2002. Listening deeply. In Counselling and Coping. Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa: 21 Chochinov, H.M 2007: 187. Dignity and the essence of medicine: the A, B, C, and D of dignity conserving care. BMJ: 185-187 Gibson, K. Swartz, L. & Sandenbergh, R. 2002. Coping with feelings. In Counselling and Coping. Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa: 35 French, S. & Swain, J. 2008. Understanding Disability: A Guide for Health Professionals. Philadelphia: Churchilll Livingstone Elsevier: 4
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