Planning and implementing a collaborative clinical placement for medical, nursing and allied health students: A qualitative study
BACKGROUND: 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.
METHODS: 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.
RESULTS: 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.
CONCLUSIONS: 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.
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