Interprofessional learning for pre-qualification health care students: an outcomes-based evaluation

Gillian Nisbet, Graham D Hendry, Gary Rolls, Michael J Field
Journal of Interprofessional Care 2008, 22 (1): 57-68
Within health, it is widely acknowledged that a collaborative, team-oriented approach to care is required to ensure patient safety and quality of service delivery. A pre-qualification interprofessional learning experience should provide an ideal opportunity for students to gain the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to enable them to work as part of a patient-centred interprofessional team. In this article we report a multidimensional evaluation of a pre-qualification interprofessional learning (IPL) program. The program brings together senior year students from various health care professions on clinical placement in the same service area of a hospital to take part in shared, structured learning experiences centred on interprofessional teamwork. We used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate the IPL program. Results indicate that students' understanding of the roles of other team members was enhanced, and students and supervisors perceived the program to be of value for student learning. Measured changes in attitude were limited. Unexpected findings emerged in relation to role responsibilities within teams and attitudes towards doctors. We conclude that such programs have the potential to expand students' understanding of the contributions made by other professionals/colleagues to effective patient care, although challenges persist in overcoming pre-existing role stereotypes.

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