Assessing dispositional qualities for interprofessional collaborative health-care practice

Showcase Presenters: Todd Stretton, Brenda Flood, Jane Morgan & Angela Brenton-Rule

Core attributes for safe, efficient and effective clinical practice include a working knowledge of roles and interaction with, from and about other professionals that are developed through interprofessional learning (IPL). Interprofessional learning is best experienced though authentic, situated learning where students from a number of health care professions work together. In this way, they develop a common language, interprofessional reasoning, and expand their health lens to prioritise patient-centred health care.  

IPL opportunities for undergraduate healthcare students have been developed in a joint project between the School of Clinical Sciences and School of Interprofessional Studies at AUT. Students from the seven clinical professions housed in the School of Clinical Sciences are organised to collaboratively engage in interprofessional practice while learning skills common across the professions. Currently about 800 students have engaged in online learning (module one), followed by two interprofessional practice sessions (modules 2 and 3) for an IPL unit titled Moving and Handling. The three modules are embedded, compulsory components in each of the seven clinical programmes. During the practical sessions, students purposefully learn and practice the skills of moving, handling and transferring patients together in small interprofessional groups, facilitated by an interprofessional educator and specialist physiotherapist.    

A challenge in the embedded IPL programme is the assessment of dispositional qualities; viewed as central attributes to patient-centred care. While interprofessional roles, the use of appropriate unambiguous language and shared clinical reasoning can be assessed in written, verbal and/or procedural forms, the dispositional qualities are less able to be assessed in a similar manner.  

Attendees at this showcase will be provided with information on the shared vision, aims and teaching-learning strategies for the IPL programme and developing an authentic assessment of dispositional qualities that has relevance across the health professions.

Todd Stretton, Brenda Flood, Jane Morgan and Angela Brenton-Rule are educators within the Schools of Clinical Sciences and Interprofessional Health Studies. With a background in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing and podiatry (respectively), the presenters are part of a collective Interprofessional Steering Group tasked with imbedding interprofessional education in all undergraduate Health Science degrees. The IP Steering Group has been pro-active in the planning of content, delivery and assessment of interprofessional learning for students in the respective programmes.