Original Theory & Research

Assessing the Frequency and Quality of Hidden Interprofessional Educational Interactions that Occur on Inpatient Rotations: An Exploratory Study



BACKGROUND Clinical interprofessional education (IPE) experiences are necessary to produce a collaborative practice-ready workforce. However, creating clinical IPE courses is challenging. In this exploratory study, we sought to characterize informal IPE experiences that occurred during standard rotations among medical, nursing and pharmacy students. METHODS Thirteen senior medical, nursing and pharmacy students enrolled on inpatient rotations were invited to participate.  They used a web-based tool to assess characteristics of interactions they had with individuals of other professions for five days during their rotations. At the conclusion of their rotations, participants were invited to participate in focus groups. RESULTS Study participants included 5 medical, 5 nursing, and 3 pharmacy students. 122 interactions were documented. “We discussed care of a patient with many contributing ideas and opinions” was the most common interaction (42.9%), followed by “Others taught me something about patient care” (33.7%).  Four students participated in focus groups (2 medical, 1 nursing, 1 pharmacy), and reported meaningful IPE interactions that included feeling valued as a member of the healthcare team when given autonomy and ownership of patient care. CONCLUSION Students from three separate professions reported impactful informal IPE interactions on inpatient rotations. These findings provide opportunity for enhancing IPE experiences on existing rotations.


interprofessional educationclinical educationwork-based learninginterprofessional collaboration
  • Year: 2021
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: eP2172
  • DOI: 10.7710/2641-1148.2172
  • Published on 27 Oct 2021
  • Peer Reviewed