Purpose: Internationally, and in Australia, interprofessional education (IPE) is becoming typical in primary healthcare delivery and is core to delivering patient-centred care. It is essential that primary healthcare education develop interprofessional capacity in order to produce a skilled workforce. An IPE clinical placement for undergraduate health students was developed and piloted in primary healthcare settings. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the IPE clinical placement in a primary healthcare setting on students’ perceptions of interprofessional education. Method: A pre-post placement validated questionnaire (n=19) indicated overall perceptions of IPE significantly increased over the course of the IPE clinical placement. Results: There was a significant increase in competency and autonomy and understanding of roles over time. There was no significant increase in the reported perception of need for interprofessional cooperation, however there was a significant increase in actual interprofessional cooperation. Conclusion: This was a successful pilot program that warrants further development and research to include longer-term follow up of students’ perceptions towards IPE and analyze whether collaboration and teamwork skills obtained during the IPE primary healthcare experience are transferrable to future professional practice.

Author Bio(s)

Christina Aggar, RN, BN(Hons), Grad Cert HE, PhD, is a registered nurse with 25 years of clinical and academic experience. Christina’s research interests include primary health care, workforce development and clinical skills education. Christina is currently the conjoint Academic Research appointment with Northern NSW LHD and Southern Cross University.

Beth Mozolic-Staunton, OTR, BA Neuroscience/Psychology, Grad Cert HE, MS OccThy, is a paediatric occupational therapist, lecturer and researcher at Southern Cross University. Beth’s research interests include health promotion and primary care, early intervention, developmental disability and health professional education.

Renee Lovi, RN, BN, MN, PhD, is a registered nurse, lecturer and researcher at Southern Cross University. Renee’s research interests include primary health care, women’s health, health promotion and domestic violence. Renee’s most recent projects involve curriculum development and the addition of holistic care of trauma related victims.

Maggie Scorey, B(OccThy), Grad Cert Academic Practice, is a registered occupational therapist, lecturer and researcher at Southern Cross University. Maggie’s is the professional experience lead for occupational therapy at Southern Cross University. Her clinical interest is in neurosciences and her research interests include practice education and rehabilitation for professional surfers.

Melissa Kemp, B (Sp Path) is a speech pathologist, lecturer and researcher at Southern Cross University. Melissa’s current role is the professional experience lead for speech pathology. Her interests include feedback in clinical education, reflective practice, peer learning and building learner and educator capability in clinical practice contexts.

Dr. Tara Walker, RN, MBA, PhD, is the Director of Multidisciplinary Programs at Broken Hill University, Department of Rural Health

Sian Lewis, BA(MEL) is a research assistant for the Organisational Unit, School of Health and Human Sciences.




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