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Abstract

The purpose of this pilot project was to provide an interprofessional, evidence-based learning experience for students in three disciplines during a four-week period in a rural hospital. Methods: This project is described as a case study and included students and faculty from two universities, personnel from an Area Health Education Center, and hospital practitioners in three health care disciplines. Project planners designed and carried out an interprofessional clinical course, which included one student in each of three disciplines: occupational therapy, physical therapy and communication sciences and disorders. Planning included establishing a course description, objectives, course requirements, and outcome measures. Results: During a four week period, the students met regularly, performed a patient examination together, and presented results of the examination in the form of a plan of care, mentored by supervisors in corresponding disciplines. The Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS) was completed by students prior to and at the conclusion of the four weeks to assess attitudes toward interprofessional education. Scores on the IEPS increased for all three students and an overall increase of positive perceptions of the other disciplines was noted.Conclusion: Opportunities such as the Rockcastle Project foster university, clinical, and organizational partnerships within rural communities and promote interprofessional teamwork.

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