For first year inter professional education, the task was to design a poster based on a case study of a person who has one or more medical conditions. The poster had to explain what various members of a multi-disciplinary team would do for the person, and was to be targeted at a certain audience, for example health -care workers, people who have the same medical conditions or family members of these people. Our case study focused on Joe, a man with schizophrenia and diabetes. We decided a design for our poster would include a photograph of ourselves (Joe’s team) and part written by each member of the team around the photo. We would also include an introduction by Joe’s sister explaining the situation. This essay will reflect on the process that we went through during the making of the poster, and what went well and what the difficulties there were in making it.
The scheduled classes for IPE took place in October, but the poster was not to be finished until April. We were organised into groups, it was our responsibility to organise meetings in order to design and produce the poster. According to research by Tuckman (1965) groups go through several stages when presented with a group work task. These are forming, storming, norming and performing. These steps describe the process gone through in order to complete a task from the beginning of the group (forming), to the thinking up of idea (storming) to the stage where the group members become used to each other and are able to do the task (norming), to the final stage where the task is finished and carried out (performing). Our group followed these set of stages, with us first meeting and thinking of ideas during the scheduled IPE classes, then meeting up to do the work and finally presenting the finished poster.
An important part of IPE was participation as each member was required to be fully committed to taking part in the task in order for it to succeed. I felt that I contributed well to various aspects of the task. As a team we all worked together to produce most parts of the poster and all worked together on the design therefore I think that everyone contributed equally to the task. We also worked together at one of the meetings to write the part of Joe’s sister. We each took responsibility for writing a small piece about how one of the members of Joe’s team would be involved in his care. I think that I took responsibility for organising a lot of the meeting and finding out what days we were all free to meet. I also feel that I contributed by being very flexible with the times that I was available and whenever we agreed to do some work I had it completed within the agreed timeframe.
During the task, there were some aspects that went well and also some that went not so well. Some things that I think went well were firstly; the design of the poster. We came up with an interesting and original idea quickly and we stuck to this idea. This allowed us to get on with other things and it was helpful that we all agreed on this. Another thing which went quite well was the fact that we all got on and worked fairly well together as a team. There weren’t any disagreements between members of the group and when we agreed to do a piece of work all of the group members done it in time.
However, whilst making the poster there were also some things which did not go well. From the beginning we had agreed to mainly contact each other by text, and had agreed that we would always reply as quickly as possible but I felt that this was not really kept to at all times by the other members of the group as at times it could take hours or even days to get a reply. I also felt that at times it was difficult to arrange meeting which suited everyone as people were reluctant to come into university on days when they had no timetabled classes, therefore there were very few times which were suitable for everyone. Meetings were also quite difficult to arrange as people did not want to commit to other work during the exam period and also people had placements so were unavailable for most of this time.
An important part of the task involved working in a team and in our team we all took on roles. I think that I took on a mostly organisational role in terms of the fact that I took responsibility for organising a lot of the meetings, especially in the beginning when we were unsure of what to do. Other members of the team took on more of a leadership role as they tended to direct what happened at the meetings and made most of the decisions regarding what work was to be done and who would do it. At meetings I took a quieter role but still participated in all the discussions and took part in all decisions about what was to be included in the poster and its design.