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Abstract

Introduction: Globally there is an increased emphasis on the provision of high quality healthcare and improved productivity under mounting financial constraints. Interprofessional collaboration and practice are considered crucial in promoting teamwork and optimising patient outcomes. However, there is a lack of structured, evaluated interprofessional learning opportunities for graduates in regional and rural health services in Australia. This pilot study reports on a novel interprofessional new graduate learning program that was developed and implemented to address the lack of structured post-qualification interprofessional learning opportunities in the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service. Methods: Twenty-one participants enrolled in the six-month program, which consisted of six ninety-minute sessions. A mixed method exploratory design was used to collect data using the Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale before and after the program, and a reflective summary at program completion. Results: Results indicated that participation in the program had a positive effect on participants’ attitudes, beliefs and behaviours regarding interprofessional practice as measured on the Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale. Various themes about the usefulness of the program to participants were elicited from the reflective summary data. These included enhanced understanding of interprofessional practice, increased confidence in own professional role, improved understanding of the roles of other professions, increased collaboration with others, improved patient outcomes and improved networking with colleagues. Conclusions: It was concluded that the new graduate interprofessional learning program was a feasible and effective way to facilitate interprofessional learning among health graduates in a regional health service.

Author Bio(s)

  • Priya Martin, BOT, MS (Psychotherapy&Counseling), works as an advanced clinical educator at the Cunningham Centre, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, in Queensland, Australia. Prior to this she was occupational therapy clinical education support officer at Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service. She is currently completing a PhD through the University of South Australia.
  • Matthew Newby, BHlthSci (Nutrition&Dietetics), is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) in Australia and Registered Dietitian (RD) in the United Kingdom. He worked as a senior dietitian and clinical educator for the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service before moving to England to work as a Locum Specialist Dietitian for the NHS.
  • Monica Moran, DSocSc, MPhil(OccThy), GCClinED, DipCOT, is an associate professor and discipline lead of the occupational therapy program at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton, Queensland. She researches in the areas of interprofessional education, role emerging professional practice and the consumer experience of healthcare.
  • Matthew Browne, PhD, received his doctorate in cognitive psychophysiology from Griffith University in 2001. He has worked as a biostatistician in Japan, Germany and Australia, subsequently working as an applied mathematician at CSIRO, Australia's peak research organisation. His focus is on quantitative and methodological tools to solve applied problems in the social sciences
  • Saravana Kumar, B.App.Sc (Physio) MPT(Manipulative&Sports) PhD, is a Senior Lecturer and Research Leader at the School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia. He is also a registered Physiotherapist in South Australia.

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