Effect of an Interprofessional Teaching Clinic on Student Development: A Qualitative Assessment
Purpose/Hypothesis: Interprofessional education (IPE) is a growing trend across the US; however, it tends to be one-time case-based events, and clinical training is often profession specific with limited interprofessional (IP) interactions. To better prepare healthcare students to enter the workforce and provide collaborative care, we developed an Interprofessional Teaching Clinic (IPTC) that provides opportunities for experiential learning to occur in a clinical setting. The purpose of this study was to investigate underlying themes that either facilitated or inhibited IP collaboration. Number of Subjects: Participants included 3 clients with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or cerebral vascular accident (CVA); students from Dietetics (DI)(n=3), Occupational Therapy (OT)(n=4), Physical Therapy (PT)(n=6), and Speech Language Pathology (SLP)(n=3); and 5 faculty members from DI(1), OT(2), PT(2), and SLP(1) programs. Materials and Methods: The IPTC brought together students and faculty from various fields to address the complex needs of clients with TBI and CVA. This pilot study consisted of 10 weekly sessions where students worked together to perform IP examinations, evaluations, and interventions. During the examination, an IP team administered the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 and profession specific assessments as an IP team. Intervention session schedules alternated weekly between IP groups and profession specific treatments.To assess the underlying themes, two IP focus groups were held halfway through that consisted of a client, students, and faculty. Data was examined through a grounded theory open coding process to allow for codes and themes to emerge. Results: Below are select focus group responses related to the enabling themes. Valuing other professions roles:“I think it is necessary, because we will be dealing with this when we get in the real world. It is good for us to understand each other’s roles.”-DI Communication:“I realized how much we rely on the other disciplines. If I don’t know how to do something, I can always ask.”-OT Adaptability: “Sometimes you go in thinking you’re going to do one thing and everything changes. You have to have Plan A, B, through Z. Being able to have a backup plan and be able to modify what you’re doing because every day is different.”-PT Integrated treatment planning: “This is a really good experience for us to understand that we have common goals and that we need to unite over common goals, not over the differences.”-DI Conclusions: The focus group data supports the value of the discovered themes; however, we also found these factors could hinder patient care and student learning if managed poorly. The IPTC allowed students to understand the value of teamwork and providing meaningful healthcare to clients. Clinical Relevance: The IPTC provides real world situations where professionals come together to treat a client holistically, regardless of discipline specific differences. It is a method, which has promise to better prepare future clinicians for IP teamwork.