From school to work: Promoting the application of pre-qualification interprofessional education in the clinical workplace
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The rationale for Interprofessional Education (IPE) is based on the assumption it will improve practice. Despite evidence that it may modify attitudes and provide knowledge and skills for collaboration, there is little evidence about whether these skills can be transferred to practice. The aim of this research was to explore how midwifery students apply pre-qualification IPE learning to practice and to understand the factors in the clinical workplace that facilitate or hinder this application. A purposive sample of students, educators, Heads of Midwifery and new midwives from four universities throughout the United Kingdom participated in semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Emerging themes were developed using the principles of Grounded Theory. Participants articulated ways in which the clinical environment either promoted or prevented IPE in practice. The extent to which the clinical institution promoted IPE was made visible through the support for students during placements; the support for new midwives; and the evolution of professional roles. Buy-in for the IPE agenda in the workplace influences the ability of new midwives to apply IPE competencies to professional practice. The benefits of a theoretical foundation in interprofessional skills may be lost if students and new midwives find themselves working in contexts that do not make collaboration a priority.
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