Report of the investigation of undergraduate Health Science student attitudes toward interprofessional education
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Dalton, L and Spencer, J and Howarth, H, Report of the investigation of undergraduate Health Science student attitudes toward interprofessional education, Faculty of Health Science, University of Tasmania (2007) [Contract Report]
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has recognised the current health care system in Australia will require change if it is to remain sustainable. New ways of working have emerged along with some modifications to health professionals’ boundaries and professional responsibilities. It has now become imperative that the issues of collaboration and teamwork between health professionals are addressed. A key aspect of this change relates to the need for new models of care with an interprofessional focus and teamwork for an effective health care workforce. (Humphris & Hean, 2004)[p 24] assert "…the traditional divisions and demarcations between professionals will need to be explored in the face of the clear need to work differently and collaboratively in the interest of the patients". The National Health Workforce Strategic framework developed by Australian Health Ministers Council (AHMAC) in 2004 also recognises the need for interprofesssional practice and argues for a more collaborative, multidisciplinary workforce to efficiently tackle workforce issues (workforce, 2005). Effective interprofessional teamwork is one solution for improving health care delivery and maximising health care outcomes. A growing body of literature supports interprofessional education (IPE) as a means to prepare health science students and professionals to work effectively in teams (Barr et al., 2006; Cooper et al., 2001; Reid et al., 2006). Interprofessional education is defined as, ‘…an intervention during which members of more than one health and/or social care profession learn interactively together for the explicit purpose of improving interprofessional collaboration and/or the health/wellbeing of patients/clients. Interactive learning requires active learner participation, and active exchange between learners from different professions’ (Zwarenstein et al., 2000)[p 3].
Where nursing, medical and pharmacy students were once expected to acquire knowledge specific to their discipline and learn in silos, it is now posited that IPE will enhance their attitudes towards teamwork and collaboration, leading to improved patient care and outcomes. In tandem with these pedagogical changes there is debate about how and when IPE should be implemented in undergraduate health science education and its effectiveness as a pedagogical activity. There is a belief that interprofessional education across health science disciplines will enhance attitudes toward teamwork and collaboration, leading to improved patient care upon graduation
© University of Tasmania, 20 March 2007
University Department of Rural Health
(Parsell et al 1998).While various forms of IPE are currently being implemented in the undergraduate health science programs at the University of Tasmania, students’ attitudes toward interprofessional education are not known. This study reports the attitudes of Tasmanian health science undergraduate students toward interprofessional education, across each discipline and at different stages of their course.
In this report a brief review of interprofessional education literature is presented and the study design is outlined. The results are presented and discussed. The supporting documents attached as appendices include:
• Information sheet ● Consent form
• Result graphs ● RIPLS questionnaire
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