Interprofessional education in a New Zealand Community Polytechnic: A mixed-method pilot study
Keywords:Social work, paramedicine, nursing, scope of practice, interprofessional education.
INTRODUCTION: Interprofessional collaboration leads to better patient care, enhanced teamwork skills, better communication, and enhanced understandings of each other’s professional roles.
METHODS: The objective of the study was to trial an interprofessional education (IPE) simulation activity with students (nine) from three health and social service disciplines in one community polytechnic. A pre-test/post-test design was used to gather data on the students’ perspectives of the IPE simulation and what the students learned from it. A simple Likert Scale questionnaire and two focus groups (with five and four participants, respectively) were conducted. A thematic analysis of the focus group data was undertaken while survey responses are presented in percentages for ease of readability.
FINDINGS: The participants enjoyed the simulation, had greater confidence with interprofessional communication post-participation and increased knowledge of each other’s scope of practice. The participants welcomed the opportunity to practise handover, which was an area of concern for all.
IMPLICATIONS: IPE is an invaluable tool for preparing students for their future careers as members of an interdisciplinary health team.
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