An Australian hospital-based student training ward delivering safe, client-centered care while developing students' interprofessional practice capabilities
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Royal Perth Hospital, in partnership with Curtin University, established the first interprofessional student training ward in Australia, based on best practice from Europe. Evaluation of the student and client experience was undertaken. Feedback from all stakeholders was obtained regularly as a key element of the quality improvement process. An interprofessional practice program was established with six beds within a general medical ward. This provided the setting for 2- to 3-week clinical placements for students from medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, pharmacy, dietetics and medical imaging. Following an initial trial, the training ward began with 79 students completing a placement. An interprofessional capability framework focused on the delivery of high quality client care and effective teamwork underpins this learning experience. Quantitative outcome data showed not only an improvement in students’ attitudes towards interprofessional collaboration but also acquisition of a high level of interprofessional practice capabilities. Qualitative outcome data from students and clients was overwhelmingly positive. Suggestions for improvement were identified. This innovative learning environment facilitated the development of the students’ knowledge, skills and attitudes required for interprofessional, client centred collaborative practice. Staff reported a high level of compliance with clinical safety and quality.
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