Introduction: The need for interprofessional education (IPE) is driven by the recognition that one of the major focuses of the Australian health care system is the promotion of effective interprofessional learning and collaboration with the aim of providing optimal patient/client care. The objective of this study was to explore the attitudes towards readiness for interprofessional learning among a group of undergraduate health science students studying at Monash University. Method: A cross-sectional study of students across all undergraduate years from Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Emergency Health - Paramedic/Nursing, Nutrition and Dietetics, Emergency Health - Paramedic, Physiotherapy, and Midwifery was completed. Participants were asked to complete the 19-item paper-based Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS). Results: A total of 418 students participated in the study with most students from Nursing (25%) followed by Paramedics (20%). The majority of students were under 25 years of age (83%) and female (80%). Findings suggest that students support the notion of interprofessional collaboration in terms of teamwork, learning, and communication. The following items produced high mean scores: “patients would ultimately benefit if health care students worked together” (M=4.33, SD+0.68), and “learning with other students will make me a more effective member of a health care team” (M=4.38, SD+0.59). The item “shared learning will help me understand my own professional limitations” also produced significant findings F (6, 411)= 7.1, p < 0.001. Subscale scores ranged from 37.34 (SD+4.34) to 4.88 (SD+1.68). Conclusion: Overall, the study has revealed a generally positive attitude towards shared learning and the value of teamwork though the strength of optimism varies among professional groups of students. This study also adds to the emerging body of knowledge surrounding interprofessional learning and provides important data regarding students’ perceptions and readiness for interprofessional learning from an Australian context.
Williams B, McCook F, Brown T, Palmero C, McKenna L, Boyle M, et al. Are Undergraduate Health Care Students ‘Ready’ for Interprofessional Learning? A Cross-Sectional Attitudinal Study. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2012 Jul 01;10(3), Article 4.