Simulated interprofessional learning activities for rural health care services: perceptions of health care students
Received 3 May 2017
Accepted for publication 25 May 2017
Published 19 June 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 235—241
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser
Selina Taylor,1 Yaqoot Fatima,1,2 Navaratnam Lakshman,1 Helen Roberts1
1Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University, Mount Isa, 2School of Public Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Background: The literature on interprofessional learning (IPL) has limited empirical evidence on the impact of simulated IPL sessions in promoting collaborative health care services in rural settings. This study aims to explore health care students’ perception of the relevance of simulated IPL for rural health care services.
Methods: Three focus group interviews were held with pre-registration medical, pharmacy, and allied health students (n=22). Students worked together to manage complex simulation scenarios in small interprofessional teams. Focus group sessions were held at the end of simulation activities to explore students’ views on the relevance of simulated IPL activities. Thematic analysis was undertaken on the qualitative data obtained from the focus groups.
Results: Participants embraced both the interprofessional and the simulation components enthusiastically and perceived these to be useful for their future as rural health care practitioners. Four major themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: appreciation of the role of other health disciplines, collaborative approach to patient care, competency and skills for future health care practice, and relevance for future rural and remote health care practice. Students acknowledged the simulated IPL sessions for improving their understanding of multidisciplinary practice in rural practice and facilitating the appreciation for collaborative practice and expertise.
Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, simulated IPL activities seem to be a potential intervention for developing collaborative practice among pre-registration health profession students. However, further evidence is required to assess if positive responses to simulated IPL activities are sustained in practice and translate into improving patient outcome.
Keywords: interprofessional, simulation, multidisciplinary, rural health care, collaboration
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