Students improve patient care and prepare for professional practice: an interprofessional community-based study

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Submitted by Elizabeth Anderson on Oct 13, 2014 - 6:34am CDT

Resource Type: 
Journal Article

Anderson ES, Thorpe, LN. (2014). Students improve patient care and prepare for professional practice: an  interprofessional community-based study. Medical Teacher. 36(6): 495–504.


Background: We report on an education model, which enables students to contribute to practice while experiencing the realities of complex team-working in the community.

Aims: The study considers how interprofessional learning impacts on patient care and service delivery.

Method: The qualitative study, using a realist approach, sought the views of practice-staff, patients and facilitators on the outcomes of interprofessional student-team involvement in professional practice. Practitioners and facilitators took part in focus groups, interviews or completed e-questionnaires.

Results: Staff from six Primary Health Care Teams (n=23) stated that the student-teams had offered solutions to improve the quality of patient care and on organisational systems. The positive value of the student work was confirmed by the course facilitators (n=8). In addition practitioners were propelled to maintain high professional standards. Patients (n=23) recalled benefits directly attributable to the student work

Conclusion: Undergraduate interprofessional student-teams in mid-training can support and help practise teams and this subsequently benefits patient care. This practice-based interprofessional learning model offers learning which is theory-based and supports positive student contributions. This learning fits todays requirements for positive out-comes from education when mapped against the Kirkpatrick or the NHS (UK), education outcomes framework.

Elizabeth Anderson
Lucy Thorpe
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