Use of profession-role exchange in an interprofessional student team-based community health service-learning experience.

Research paper by Jun J Wang, Jie J Guo, Yubin Y Wang, Dan D Yan, Juan J Liu, Yinghong Y Zhang, Xianmin X Hu

Indexed on: 04 Jul '20Published on: 04 Jul '20Published in: BMC Medical Education


During interprofessional clinical practice, compared to understanding of one's own professional role and function, it might be more difficult to clarify the roles and contributions of the other health-care team members because of the inter-professional barrier. In order to provide students the opportunity for real experience with other professions in team environments and enhance their perceptions of other professions' roles, this study developed a comprehensive and multi-dimension extracurricular interprofessional education (IPE) model through designing and integrating a profession-role exchange component, that was medical students as pharmacists or nurses, pharmacy students as physicians or nurses, and nursing students as physicians or pharmacists in the interprofessional health-care student team, into the service learning experience in a real community setting. In this pre/post-intervention study, the effect of integrated profession-role exchange experiences on the students' attitudes towards interprofessional collaboration and their role clarification was evaluated among 60 student volunteers (20 medical students, 20 pharmacy students and 20 nursing students). All involved students were divided into the profession-role exchange intervention group and the control group. Subjects in the control group did not participate the profession-role exchange experiences, the other IPE procedures were the same for both groups. Three survey instruments for attitudes toward interprofessional clinical collaboration were respectively used to measure the students' attitudes toward physician-pharmacist, physician-nurse and nurse-pharmacist collaborations. "Roles and responsibilities" subscale of Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale was used to evaluate the overall role clarification during IPE. Compared to the control IPE activity, the addition of profession-role exchange component resulted in the significant increase in students' positive attitudes towards interprofessional collaboration, and the enhancement of students' role awareness. The profession-role exchange might be more effective and better initiate students to the practice of interprofessional collaboration, and could be used as an effective IPE tool for improving the role awareness of health-care students.