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Students' experiences and perceptions of interprofessional education during rural placement: A mixed methods study

Walker, L, Cross, M ORCID: 0000-0001-5526-4650 and Barnett, T ORCID: 0000-0002-1376-6414 2019 , 'Students' experiences and perceptions of interprofessional education during rural placement: A mixed methods study' , Nurse Education Today, vol. 75 , pp. 28-34 , doi:

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Background: Interprofessional collaboration is key to addressing the complexity of contemporary health care,therefore it is imperative that students from different disciplines have access to interprofessional education toequip them with the requisite skills and attributes. While interprofessional education promotes a person-centredapproach and mutual recognition of one another's contributions to health outcomes, interprofessional educationin Australian universities is fragmented and presents challenges that can be addressed through clinical placements.Objectives: This article reports student perceptions and readiness for interprofessional education in the ruralclinical learning environment in one region of Australia.Design: A mixed methods approach.Settings: Rural clinical learning environments in one geographic area in Victoria, Australia.Participants: 60 undergraduate healthcare students from allied health, medicine, nursing and midwifery.Methods: A survey incorporating Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale, Interdisciplinary EducationPerception Scale and focused interprofessional questions. Qualitative data were collected via survey comments,interviews and focus groups.Results: Students had numerous opportunities for interprofessional education, to observe role modelling in theworkplace and considered that learning with other professions would help them become more effective membersof the health care team. Students valued learning about collaborative practice, the roles of other professions andidentified activities that enhanced interprofessional engagement.Conclusions: This study provides important insights regarding students' perceptions and readiness for interprofessional education. These results demonstrate that there are numerous opportunities to embed interprofessional education within the rural clinical learning environment and offer new insights into students' experiences and preferences for potential activities. These findings may resonate with others implementinginterprofessional education in the workplace and guide facilitators in planning activities for students. Factorsinfluencing differences in attitudes towards interprofessional education and how students acquire an understanding of their professional or disciplinary role warrant further study.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Walker, L and Cross, M and Barnett, T
Keywords: Interprofessional education, collaborative practice, undergraduate health students, professional roles, health care, rural placement, clinical learning environment, clinical placement
Journal or Publication Title: Nurse Education Today
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
ISSN: 0260-6917
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Elsevier Ltd.

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