Our clinical education team implemented an innovative interprofessional education (IPE) program to improve the clinical learning environment at our inpatient rehabilitation facility. The purpose of this study is to quantify and characterize the IPE experience at our facility and demonstrate how to formally integrate IPE into clinical education curricula. This project seeks to fill a gap in the literature by developing an IPE framework to quantify the IPE experience in a clinical education setting.
A formal IPE program was implemented at our facility to enhance studentsÕ understanding of and involvement in IPE in the clinical setting. Students were introduced to an IPE manual which outlined and served as a reference to interprofessional experiences frequently encountered. Students then completed weekly IPE tracking logs for the first 8 weeks of their affiliations. This log captured information on the number, type (i.e. coordination of plan of care with therapist, nurse, physician, involvement in Student Seminar Series (SSS), reporting in interdisciplinary team conferences), and level of IPE involvement (observed, participated, or led). Students and Clinical Instructors (CIs) completed subjective surveys at week 8 reporting perceived value of the IPE tracking log and manual, strengths, and areas for further development.
Twenty-three students participated (13 physical therapy students and 10 occupational therapy students.) At week 1, students most frequently reported observing IPE, with 82% observing with other therapists, 82% with nursing, 91% with physicians, and 91% during interdisciplinary team conferences. At week 8, students most frequently reported leading IPE with 65%, 55%, 50%, and 50% respectively in the categories indicated above. Due to the format of the SSS, most students reported participating in the experience at week 1 and 8. Based on subjective data, on average, students rated the IPE manual 4 (very good) as contributing to their understanding of available IPE experiences at our facility. Students also reported that the tracking log helped monitor professional development. On average, CIs rated the tracking log and IPE manual as 3 (good).
Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme:
This study aligns with the conference theme of promoting student and clinician leadership and professional development through a formalized clinical IPE program. After quantifying IPE experiences, CIs can facilitate learning opportunities and promote studentsÕ professional development into interprofessional practitioners by setting objective goals to ensure students are exposed to all identified experiences. As shown in this study, IPE orientation manuals and tracking logs may be useful tools to establish expectations and monitor experiences. Integration of a formalized IPE program can make students and clinical faculty leaders in interprofessional communication as well as interprofessional teaching and learning in the clinical setting. Future research is required to assess the utility of this IPE framework across all practice settings.