Pollard, K., Rickaby, C. & Miers, M. (2008) Evaluating student learning in an interprofessional curriculum: the relevance of pre-qualifying interprofessional education for future professional practice, Higher Education Academy- Health Sciences and Practice.

The focus of this study was qualified health and social care professionals’ views about their experience of pre-qualifying interprofessional education (IPE). Adult nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, and social workers were interviewed. Our main findings were:

Most (but not all) participants had found IPE in the academic environment useful. Many had only really started to appreciate its worth once they experienced its relevance to their own professional practice.

Participants’ experiences of interprofessional learning and working on placement had varied considerably.

Mentors’ support and encouragement for students’ engagement in interprofessional working was considered invaluable.

When compared with data from studies in which students were interviewed about the same pre-qualifying IPE initiative, professionals and students expressed very similar views.

Participants who had experienced pre-qualifying IPE demonstrated a more sophisticated understanding of relevant issues and contributing factors, and appeared to be more aware of the impact of poor interprofessional working on care delivery, than participants without such experience.

Suggestions for enhancing pre-qualifying IPE included broadening the professional mix of IPE groups and soliciting input from professionals, service users and carers in the academic environment; and learning with students from different professions, engaging in interprofessional activities, shadowing practitioners from other professions and including specific interprofessional competencies in learning outcomes while on placement.

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