Students, faculty and local community health professionals learning together

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Connections in Higher Education Vol. 35

July, 2012, 373 pages
Published by
N. Brown, S.M. Jones, & A. Adam
0 908557 89 2

The international literature clearly identifies the need for greater integration of interprofessional education into the curricula of entry-level health professions. This paper reports on the design and outcomes of a short learning program undertaken by rurally based pre-graduate students of the University of New England. The medicine, nursing, pharmacy and social work students worked through two simulated case scenarios based around the care of clients with chronic conditions. The attitudes and experiences of the participating students and the program developers were evaluated using pre and post program surveys, audience response data and qualitative comments. Prior to undertaking this program the majority of participants acknowledged the value of interprofessional learning to their professional practice; however following participation they were overwhelmingly positive about the value of this type of learning to their future practice. They considered that the program gave them a greater appreciation of their role within the interprofessional team and provided valuable insights into the scope of practice of their clinical colleagues. Overall, the student participants found this program valuable, stimulating and challenging, with most indicating that they would welcome more opportunities to learn within interprofessional groups. The same was true for the program developers who indicated that participation in this activity strengthened existing professional relationships and enhanced collaborative practice. The inclusion of consumers and clinical health professionals in the development and delivery of the scenarios contributed to the richness of student experience and evaluation. The outcomes will inform the expansion of interprofessional learning activities at this rural university.

Keywords: interdisciplinary, inter-professional health education, rural practice 

Students, faculty and local community health professionals learning together

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Paliadelis, Penny; Stupans, Ieva; Turner, Linda; Puxty, Maree; Fagan, Anthea & Lea, Jackie