Authors: Lau Siew Tiang, Liaw Sok Ying, Lopez Violeta
A robust curriculum is imperative in preparing health care graduates to work effectively in a complex and dynamic team in meeting the emergent health care needs. The existing uniprofessional curriculum which provides discipline specific skills and knowledge has been recognised to be inadequate to meet the rapidly evolving multi-disciplinary health care needs. Extensive researches were done on interprofessional education (IPE) in the hope to address the learning practice gap and effectiveness of IPE closely examined. It was found that IPE potentially enhanced students’ attitudes and perceptions toward interprofessional collaboration and clinical decision making. However, for communication and clinical skills, the findings were inconsistent. The need for IPE is translated to the clinical settings, where interprofessional collaboration and learning was incorporated to address the patients’ issues. With the rapidly ageing population globally, the health care needs have evolved drastically as more clients present with co-morbidities and complex biopsychosocial needs. It is vital for the educators to explore alternative clinical education model beyond acute care to community settings to prepare the health care students as collaborative practitioners. Planning for IPE in dynamic community settings can be challenging. Numerous logistic difficulties such as matching complex schedules of different professional students, parity of student number, joint accreditation, pedagogy barriers, deep-rooted hierarchical culture, and involvement of various community settings often impede the planning of such placement opportunities. Hence, existing community placement for the students are mostly uniprofessional or at most interdisciplinary in the curriculum. The objective of this integrative review is to examine the impact of community-based interprofessional education (IPE) on nursing students.
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