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Keywords:

  • Interprofessional;
  • student;
  • clinical education;
  • clinical learning unit;
  • team care

Abstract

Purpose

The development and implementation of interprofessional (IP) clinical learning units as a method to enhance IP clinical education and improve patient care in a rehabilitation setting are described.

Methods

Using a community-based participatory research approach, academia and healthcare delivery agencies formed a partnership to create an IP clinical learning unit in a rehabilitation setting. Preimplementation data from surveys and focus group data identified areas for improvement to enhance IP understanding and collaboration. A working group developed and implemented initiatives to enhance IP practice.

Findings

Preimplementation, eight themes emerged from which the working group identified goals and implemented strategies to strengthen IP learning. Goals included Creation of an IP Learning Environment, Increased Awareness of IP Practice, Role Clarification, Enhanced IP Communication, and Reflection and Evaluation. Postimplementation data revealed six themes: Communication, Informal IP Learning, Role Awareness, Positive Learning Environment, Logistics, and Challenges.

Conclusions

The development of the IP clinical learning unit was successful and rewarding, but not without its challenges. Formal IP education was necessary to enhance collaborative practice, even in a multidisciplinary environment. Commitment and support from all participants, particularly managers and administrators from the healthcare agency, were critical to success.

Clinical Relevance

The focus of this unit was on a stroke rehabilitation unit; however, the development and implementation principles identified may be applicable to any team-based clinical setting.