Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate and describe the healthy behaviors of teamwork at internship sites of undergraduate health and exercise science students. Data from the Jefferson Teamwork Observation Guide (JTOG) tool, in conjunction with five open-ended debrief questions were used as an innovative means of assessment to evaluate the quality of interprofessional experiences at various internship sites, as reviewed by the internship coordinator. Methods: Students observed an interprofessional team at their internship site and completed the JTOG, for the observed team. The JTOG is a two-part assessment (Likert Scale questions; qualitative questions) of identifiable characteristics of well-functioning teams drawn from the literature about teamwork, team-based care, and client-centered care. Mean Likert scores (SD) were calculated for each of the 14 Likert Scale responses and themes from the five open-ended questions were identified. Results: Students responded that their internship interprofessional teams engaged in friendly interactions and understood the roles and responsibilities of other team members, as well as valued the opinions of others and by demonstrating respect, confidence, and trust in one another. In contrast, areas of improvement were noted in the ability to openly disagree with other team members, as well as the frequency in which team members sought out opportunities to work with others. Comments captured from the JTOG open-ended debrief questions indicate the following six themes from their observations: 1) observable behaviors of effective teamwork (trust, collaboration, unity, common goal; termed shared leadership), 2) modeling collaborative care, 3) practicing client-focused care, 4) communication, 5) understanding roles, and 6) displaying importance of creating a professional environment. Conclusions: The JTOG proved to be a valuable tool: 1) to assess internship site teams within the healthcare field in order to justify the continued partnership between the university and the internship site; 2) to demonstrate that accreditation competencies are met by student learning experiences; and 3) as part of intentional interprofessional education curriculum at the foundational education level within the learning continuum.

Author Bio(s)

Erin Choice, PhD, is the Program Director for Health and Exercise Science, and an Assistant Professor, at Regis University in Denver, Colorado.

Shelene Thomas, PT, DPT, EdD, GCS, FNAP, is the Director of Interprofessional Education, and an Associate Professor, at Rocky Vista University in Parker, Colorado. She is also a licensed physical therapist in the state of Colorado.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.