Evaluation of Interprofessional Practice Education for Master of Social Work Students
Student Perspectives of a Short-term IPE Observation
Keywords:interprofessional collaboration, interprofessional education, social work field education, qualitative methods
As interprofessional education (IPE) continues to grow as part of social work programs, it is important to evaluate how best to engage students in understanding this material and explore possible barriers. With this in mind, researchers conducted qualitative interviews and focus groups to explore perceptions of three cohorts of social work students (n=29) participating in short-term interprofessional practicum experiences. Perceived benefits included improvements in communication and client care. The study also uncovered various barriers with implementing IPE-focused practicums such as time, scheduling and role uncertainty. Students shared the impact their experience had on knowledge and perceptions of the social work role in interprofessional collaboration. Even so, students were able to observe important elements of interprofessional practice from these relatively short practicums, indicating they may be a viable option for programs looking to expose students to real world interprofessional experience.
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