Making the transition from physiotherapy student to interprofessional team member

National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education's picture
Submitted by National Center... on Dec 11, 2014 - 2:49pm CST

Resource Type: 
Journal Article

OBJECTIVES: To explore final-year physiotherapy students' perceptions and experiences of interprofessional learning in the university and placement setting.

STUDY DESIGN: Focus group and mixed qualitative and quantitative questionnaire.

SETTING: Coventry University.

PARTICIPANTS: Third-year physiotherapy students at Coventry University.

METHODS: The final-year physiotherapy cohort was invited to complete a questionnaire containing a mix of closed- and open-ended questions. Eight volunteers from the same cohort took part in a focus group.

RESULTS: The questionnaire achieved a response rate of 97% (97/100), and the focus group transcript revealed several themes. The majority of students identified an impact of interprofessional learning on their awareness and understanding of professional roles (74%, 72/97) and issues (71%, 69/97). The students also valued the role of other professionals (63%, 61/97), and recognised the support they could offer (60%, 58/97). These findings were reinforced and developed with respect to interprofessional working in the focus group discussion. Students were aware of increased personal and professional confidence which supported their developing identity as physiotherapists. They also recognised an ability to seek out ways to improve working relationships and to refer patients on to the most appropriate professional. Many students recognised the significance of clinical placements in their interprofessional learning (69%, 67/97), and identified that face-to-face interaction facilitated the social aspect of team working.

CONCLUSIONS: Interprofessional learning is effective in improving student physiotherapists' awareness of roles, issues and ability to develop collaborative working relationships, thus potentially leading to improved patient care.

Please note: The full text of this article is only available to those with subscription access to Elsevier's ScienceDirect database. Contact your institutional library or the publisher for details.

K. Davies
K. Harrison
D.L. Clouder
M. Gilchrist
L. McFarland
J. Earland
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