Integrating Care for Older People: New Care for Old, a Systems Approach

By Christopher Foote; Christine Stanners | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
The New Professionals
New Ways of Working Together
for Integrated Care

Professionals profess. They profess to know better than others the nature of certain
matters and to know better than their clients what ails them or their affairs
.

Everett Hughes, Chicago School of Sociology

The ultimate sign of a serviced society is a professional saying ‘I’m so pleased with
what you’ve done’. The demise of citizenship is to respond ‘Thank you’
.

John McKnight, Professor of Urban Studies,
Northwestern University, USA

In this chapter we consider the role of the professional in complex adaptive systems
and their relationships with the older person and with other professionals. The nature
of the conflicts that have arisen through clinging to rigid professional boundaries and
the damage to the interests of older people are discussed. The attributes needed in the
new professionals who will work in integrated care systems are outlined.

Professionals traditionally stand apart. They stand apart from their clients and patients and they stand apart from those in other professions. They stand apart from the client because they are the ‘experts’ and are there to meet an actual or perceived need that they think the client cannot meet for themselves. The professional has the training that gives him the legitimacy to meet that need. The assumption is that the client has no knowledge or experience in the defined area of need. As a result, a dependency ensues. The client is dependent on the professional, and the professional

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