Student readiness for interprofessional learning at a local university in South Africa

Gerard Filies's picture
Submitted by Gerard Filies on Jul 29, 2021 - 10:15am CDT

Resource Type: 
Journal Article

Working effectively with other disciplines has become an important competency as a graduate attribute in higher
education institutions. Educational experiences should begin to foster the prerequisite competencies needed to
collaborate successfully with other healthcare professionals. The purpose of this study was to determine how
ready first year students are for interprofessional learning, and whether this readiness improves along the
continuum of learning into their final year of undergraduate studies. First year undergraduate students from ten
disciplines completed the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale prior to participating in a compulsory
interprofessional module, and the results were compared with that of senior students who completed the same
questionnaire. Results for the study show that there were significant differences between first and senior–year
level students on the subscales of negative professional identity (0.02 < 0.05); positive professional identity
(0.00 < 0.05); and teamwork and collaboration (0.00 < 0.05). There was no significant difference found on the
subscale roles and responsibilities (0.54 > 0.05). The results clearly show that senior students are more ready for
learning interprofessionally compared to first year students. It is recommended that a scaffolded approach to
learning be adopted, to ensure that students attain competence in all Interprofessional Education (IPE) core
competencies when reaching their final year of study. This type of curriculum, with its specific activities and
assessment methods, should be packaged in the form of an IPE model to create a clear understanding of the type
of health profession graduate that will be produced.

Filies, G.C
Frantz, J.M