Creating interprofessional clinical learning units: developing an acute-care model
In exploring innovative approaches to enhanced patient care, an acute care interprofessional clinical learning unit (IPCLU) was established in a medical unit of a large metropolitan hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Part of a larger, community based, participatory mixed method research project, this acute-care model involved several post-secondary institution health science faculties, students, academics, and other post-secondary institutions partnering with the hospital to coordinate and enhance student clinical learning and improve patient care. Pre-implementation data collected from the existing acute-care unit patient-care team, students, and faculty identified areas of strength and enhancement opportunities in interprofessional education (IPE). Interested members of several professions from the patient-care units and students constituted the working group that developed the model. This paper discusses clinical IPE and its relevance in nursing education, explains the processes and mechanisms in creating the IPCLU, details the initiatives that were developed to facilitate enhanced interprofessional care, and offers considerations in advancing IPE in an acute-care setting. The work plan included initiatives that enhance interprofessional teaching and learning culture, increase awareness surrounding interprofessional teamwork and professional roles, promote interprofessional communication and decision-making strategies, and further develop clinical reflection. Insights regarding sustainability are offered.
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PubMed URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21208829