Creating inter-professional collaboration opportunities within curriculum: An exploration of the impact on professional identity.

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Curriculum Transformation Vol. 40

June, 2017, 455 pages
Published by
Ruth Walker & Simon Bedford
ISBN
978-0-9945546-6-6
Abstract 

Employers of Allied Health graduates value individuals who are knowledgeable, skilled and competent in their own discipline and have the ability to work collaboratively within interprofessional teams to achieve the best outcomes for patients and clients. The opportunity for students enrolled in entry level allied health programs to engage in authentic interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities can be limited, and is often enacted within clinical/fieldwork contexts where models of collaborative team work vary considerably. This paper will report on the process and outcomes of putting into practice an interprofessional education program, embedded within the academic curricula of Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy programs at an Australian university. A realist evaluation approach to curriculum transformation will be discussed; specifically the process of identifying and exploring factors contributing to the effectiveness and sustainability of the initiative and the impact on students’ developing professional identity. Written, critical reflections of n=376 SP and OT students about their experiences of participating in an embedded IPE program were analysed thematically. Four themes reflecting the relationship between interprofessional learning and professional identify are presented: Learning with others, learning from others, learning about others and linking to practice. These results will be examined in light of the original hypotheses formed about student learning within IPE contexts, and emerging features of the program that will support sustainable delivery into the future.

Keywords: Inter-professional education; Realist Evaluation; professional identity

Creating inter-professional collaboration opportunities within curriculum: An exploration of the impact on professional identity.

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Dark, L. & Sheppard, L.