Working with Other Professions

Professional is a broad term that includes individuals with the knowledge and/or skills to contribute to the physical, mental and social well-being of a community.

  • Collaborative practice in health-care occurs when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds provide comprehensive services by working with patients, their families, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings.
  • Practice includes both clinical and non-clinical health-related work, such as diagnosis, treatment, surveillance, health communications, management and sanitation engineering.
  • Interprofessional education occurs when two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.
  • Oral health provides a natural opportunity for collaborative practice given the relationship of oral health to systemic health and the need for multiple provider types to ensure good oral health.

Create a Health "Team"

  • Reach out to medical or dental colleagues to get to know them better.
  • Discuss how to best communicate.
  • Help the patient find the right team.
    • Ideally, walk the patient to meet the staff and make an appointment
    • Otherwise, introduce them via a website or brochure and help them make an appointment
  • Teach one another. For example, a dental team member could attend a diabetes or prenatal group visit and discuss oral health or perform triage exams