Planning and implementing a collaborative clinical placement for medical, nursing and allied health students: a qualitative study

National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education's picture
Submitted by National Center... on Mar 14, 2014 - 11:14am CDT


Clinical placements have been traditionally offered on a profession specific basis, and as a result, we have a good understanding of salient issues related to their development and delivery. We know less about the planning and implementation of collaborative clinical placements. Aims: This paper presents key findings from a qualitative study that explored the collaborative processes connected to an interprofessional planning group who created and implemented a clinical placement for medical, nursing and allied health students.


An ethnographic approach was employed to explore the successes and challenges connected with the planning group's interprofessional work. Interviews, observations and documents were gathered over two years to obtain a comprehensive understanding of this placement.


The study found that while the planning group achieved a number of successes in their work including the implementation of a well-received pilot placement, their enthusiasm for the placement created a number of challenges. In particular, it resulted in them neglecting their roles, responsibilities and collaborative group processes, which created difficulties in their ability to work together. In addition, a turnover of members, changes in management and a hospital reorganization inhibited the group's collaborative work.


Collaboration around the planning and implementation of interprofessional placements is a complex venture. In striving for success in this work, planning groups need to focus their attention on both internal group-based factors as well external organizational factors.

PubMed URL:

Reeves, Scott
Journal Citation: 
Medical Teacher. 30(7):699-704, 2008.