Background Palliative care patients can have complex multidimensional needs. A cohesive multidisciplinary team is vital in the provision of quality care. To achieve this, healthcare professionals need to work alongside and respect each other’s professional roles. The use of interprofessional practice placement (IPP) for under graduates has been found to increase understanding of their own role and that of their team colleagues1.
Princess Alice Hospice has been supporting IPP placements since 2008. Final year mixed professional students undergo an induction programme and work together on an in-patient palliative care unit.
Aims To explore
how working together challenges stereotypical views and the impact of this on communication
the influence of IPP on students ability to communicate with patients and carers
if IPP equips healthcare students through reflective practice
observations of team dynamic, confidence and behaviour
Methods The triangulation of course evaluations facilitator feedback and coordinator reflection.
Results As professionals setting out on their career, the students acknowledged their need to appreciate and respect what each profession brings and team working. They found a hospice a challenging place in which to learn but equally learned the value of good communication and psychosocial support for their patients. Students also appreciated the need to be able to communicate effectively with other professions in order to provide patient centred multidisciplinary care.
Conclusion If we are to produce healthcare professionals who will provide a quality health service, they need to speak together and function well as a team. IPP provides the forum for experience and emotional intelligence to be nurtured. Supportive quality healthcare is not just knowing the facts but hinges on effective communication when compassion can be expressed.
Application to hospice practice IPP in a hospice setting is an appropriate place to support novice healthcare professionals in multidisciplinary working and quality care.
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