Health Plan :: Bringing nursing and medical students together

An innovative project to bring nursing and medical students together for clinical education aims to encourage better communication and team work between the health professions.

The Griffith University project will develop and pilot a model of clinical education for healthstudents that improves their learning experience and better reflects the realities of clinical practice.

Professor Amanda Henderson, from Griffith?s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said patientsafety largely depended on effective communication and collaboration between the healthprofessions.

“We need doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to all work together in healthcaresettings yet we currently provide limited opportunities for those professions to learn together atundergraduate level.”

The project will identify areas of the curriculum such as health assessment and care planningwhere final year nursing and medical students can work together as teams during their hospitalplacements.

“We want to enhance the student learning experience, improve their understanding of otherprofessional groups and their confidence in interacting with each other.”

“Ultimately we also hope to improve the patients? experiences ? that they feel their concernsare a priority, are truly considered in interdisciplinary forums and dealt with in a highlyprofessional manner.”

Dr Heather Alexander from Griffith?s School of Medicine said while there was growing evidencefor the value of inter-professional learning, students in the health professions trained largelyindependently of each other.

“We want to demonstrate how inter-professional learning can be incorporated into clinicalplacements. By learning together we can breakdown the perceptions and stereotypes aboutother health professions and enhance the health care teams of the future.”

While the pilot study involves nursing and medical students, the model will also be adaptable toother health students.

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