An evaluation of an interprofessional education workshop program for undergraduate students on clinical placement

Ms Emma Edwards1, Ms Nikki Lyons1,4, Ms Lisa Edwards1, Mr Mark Kelly1, Ms Olivia King1,2,3, Ms Laura Kavanagh1, Ms Jane Dow1

1Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia, 2South West Healthcare, Warnambool, Australia, 3Monash Centre for Scholarship in Health Education, Clayton, Australia, 4Deakin University, Geelong, Australia

We, as an interprofessional group of educators at a regional health network acknowledge that opportunities for undergraduate students to partake in interprofessional education (IPE) during workplace learning is important for increased knowledge of other professionals’ roles, improved collaborative practice and the development of an interprofessional identity. The World Health Organization endorses IPE and has published a Framework for Action on IPE and Collaborative Practice, outlining the significant need for IPE and collaborative practice to improve safe patient care in health systems throughout the world.
However, a review of the literature indicated that there are challenges inherent in facilitating effective IPE both in the university and healthcare environment which has limited its widespread implementation. We were unable to find examples in the literature of IPE programs facilitated in health services for undergraduate students.

With these challenges in mind, we aimed to develop an evidence based, unique and innovative interprofessional workshop which was delivered by student educators to undergraduate students in a regional health service. Students from 14 disciplines were included.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the workshop we invited participants to complete an anonymous survey which consisted of both open text responses and likert scale responses at the end of each workshop throughout 2019.

Analysis of the data identified a prominent theme that illustrated interprofessional learning opportunities as the most valued element of the workshop. Many students indicated that this was their first experience of formal IPE during their undergraduate degree.


Emma Edwards is a Senior Clinician Physiotherapist working in a Clinical Education role for Physiotherapy at Barwon Health. A clinician with 15 years’ experience working in rehabilitation, her passion is maximising students’ experiences whilst on clinical placements and facilitating student interprofessional education opportunities. Emma is also employed by Deakin University as an interprofessional facilitator in the Collaborative Practice in Healthcare Unit. She has published a study in the Journal of Physiotherapy ‘Several strategies for clinical partners and universities to enhance physiotherapy student engagement in non-metropolitan clinical placements: a mixed-methods’ with Monash University and has delivered 3 presentations at local, national and international conferences.

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