Interprofessional learning placements
Interprofessional learning placements are focused on opportunities to bring students from different disciplinary areas together to work as a team. Placing students together in a rural area and promoting a team-based approach to placement enables a shared team identity, interdependence and integration, and a shared responsibility for care. These placements involve student orientation, work and evaluation occurring together and the opportunity to learn from various health professionals.
The emphasis of the Three Rivers Interprofessional Learning Model is on a team approach to healthcare that values diverse understandings of health.
- Learn to work in an interdisciplinary team
- Practise advanced communication across a healthcare team
- Collaborate with multiple disciplines to assess and treat patients
- Develop an understanding of the role of other health disciplines.
Interprofessional learning placements can occur as a standalone activity or form part of a larger traditional placement block. These placements are generally advertised to relevant disciplines so that students have an opportunity to submit an expression of interest for inclusion in the placement. Interprofessional learning placements focus on meeting students’ disciplinary learning outcomes in addition to learning about interdisciplinary teams and working within a holistic health model.
Examples of interprofessional learning placements include health screening at agricultural field days, health checks at schools or sporting events, or completing an entire clinical placement block as part of an interdisciplinary student group.
In 2019, Three Rivers’ clinical educators accompanied an interdisciplinary group of undergraduate health students to conduct health screening for rural men at the Henty Machinery Field Days. Over the three days, the students spoke to approximately 400 men (and a few women), measuring their blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference and discussing diabetes risks and age-specific health screening requirements using the Spanner in the Works? model.
The group included undergraduate paramedicine, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy students who received travel and accommodation support to attend the placement. The students worked alongside our partners at the Australian Men’s Shed Association to learn how to engage with rural men and have an honest discussion about their health. This placement also enabled the students to travel to a rural town and experience an agricultural field day.
I think the team worked incredibly well this week. Even in a confined space like that, it got so hectic in there sometimes, but we managed to do it. And we pulled it off.
If people knew, like how fun it ended up being, how much clinical experience you got to have, how much you know you got to learn talking with people, I think heaps of people would be interested in it.