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Teaching teamwork: an evaluation of an interprofessional training ward placement for health care students

Authors Morphet J, Hood K, Cant R, Baulch J, Gilbee A, Sandry K

Received 22 January 2014

Accepted for publication 17 February 2014

Published 25 June 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 197—204

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S61189

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Julia Morphet,1 Kerry Hood,2 Robyn Cant,2 Julie Baulch,3 Alana Gilbee,3 Kate Sandry4

1School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University, Frankston, Victoria, Australia; 2School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia; 3Southern Clinical School, Monash University, Monash Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia; 4Dandenong Emergency Department, Monash Health, David St, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia

Abstract: The establishment of interprofessional teamwork training in the preprofessional health care curriculum is a major challenge for teaching faculties. Interprofessional clinical placements offer an opportunity for teamwork education, as students in various professions can work and learn together. In this sequential, mixed-method study, focus group and survey techniques were used to evaluate students' educational experiences after 2-week ward-based interprofessional clinical placements. Forty-five senior nursing, medicine, and other health care students cared for patients in hospital wards under professional supervision, with nursing-medicine student "teams" leading care. Thirty-six students attended nine exit focus groups. Five central themes that emerged about training were student autonomy and workload, understanding of other professional roles, communication and shared knowledge, interprofessional teamwork/collaboration, and the "inner circle", or being part of the unit team. The learning environment was described as positive. In a postplacement satisfaction survey (n=38), students likewise rated the educational experience highly. In practicing teamwork and collaboration, students were able to rehearse their future professional role. We suggest that interprofessional clinical placements be regarded as an essential learning experience for senior preprofessional students. More work is needed to fully understand the effect of this interactive program on students' clinical learning and preparation for practice.

Keywords: education, medical, undergraduate, experiential learning, interprofessional learning, nursing, teamwork


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