Evaluation of an interprofessional practice placement in a UK in-patient palliative care unit

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Abstract

This paper reports on undergraduate students' evaluation of a new hospice-based interprofessional practice placement (IPP) that took place in the voluntary sector from 2008 to 2009. Ward-based interprofessional training has been successfully demonstrated in a range of clinical environments. However, the multidisciplinary setting within a hospice in-patient unit offered a new opportunity for interprofessional learning. The development and delivery of the IPP initiative is described, whereby multidisciplinary groups of 12 students provided hands-on care for a selected group of patients, under the supervision of trained health care professionals. The placement was positively evaluated and students reported an increased understanding of both their own role and that of other professionals in the team. The evaluation also suggests that additional learning opportunities were provided by the in-patient palliative care unit. The results of this evaluation suggest that the in-patient unit of a hospice caring for patients with life-limiting illness provides a suitable environment to demonstrate and learn about interprofessional practice.

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