Interprofessional working in acute care

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Abstract

Background:

This paper describes the development and implementation of an interprofessional (IP) module for pre-qualification medical, nursing and physiotherapy students. The module focuses on clinical care in the acute care setting, and is called Interprofessional Working in Acute Care (IWAC).

Context:

The authors are acute-care practitioners and educators familiar with an environment where good interprofessional collaboration and communication are prerequisite for, and linked to, good patient outcomes. We believe that explicit opportunities to learn the skills of collaborative IP working are required.

Innovation:

We developed a blended-learning 15-credit module that was vertically integrated into the existing curricula of the three programmes. It used several different types of learning: self-directed learning; in-practice teaching; clinical observation; simulation-based teaching (SBT); and collaborative peer-group working and student presentations. The contact teaching time had to be limited because of the constraints of three divergent timetables, and was dominated by SBT that featured four acute care scenarios. The scenarios were formulated so that they could not be managed without interprofessional collaboration. Each student was assigned to an IP group (comprising at least one student from each discipline) for the whole module. A common assessment included a collaborative presentation by each IP group where members were expected to discuss and reflect upon the role of a different professional within their group.

Implications:

This narrative account exhibits our development of teaching praxis in the story of teaching innovation, and highlights some of the challenges and opportunities within IP learning in undergraduate education.

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