IPE and the rural and remote practice context
Teamwork is an essential part of providing effective health care when working in a rural and remote setting. Incorporating interprofessional education in a rural clinical placement can enhance a placement by:
- enabling students to target a key clinical goal of working in a team
- increased exposure to other professions
- increased understanding of roles within a team
- reinforcing client-centred care
Exchange opportunities between rural and urban clinicians are another way of actively learning from peers. Work shadowing allows the rural clinician to access specialist knowledge and resources to observe practical applications of skills and also to extend professional networks. Work shadowing is an effective use of the rural clinician’s time because the learning is targeted and intensive. The practical nature of work shadowing secondments ensures that relevant work skills are applied rapidly to the workplace and consolidated by the clinician.
For information about interprofessional education including tools, refer to Interprofessional Education.
Rural and remote IPE Resources
- SARRAH has a section about team practice and the role of the Specialist Generalist. The section discusses factors affecting team practice and questions to reflect on your own workplace team.
- The Australian Rural Health Education Network published ‘A Text Book of Australian Rural Health’ (2008). The textbook can be downloaded and has an excellent chapter ‘Strengthening Interprofessional Practice’ (Smith, Stone & Bull, 2008). The chapter has clear learning objectives. There are two case studies that highlight the importance of team-based client-centred care in rural Australia. Each case study has a guided discussion and questions to stimulate further discussion about the roles, skills and team required to deliver quality health care to clients.
- The National Rural Health Student Network has published two position papers that relate to interprofessional education: Extended scope of practice, emerging health professions and rural career pathway attraction opportunities position paper (2013) and Interprofessional Education (IPE) position paper (2007, updated 2012).
- Health Workforce Australia. Expanded scopes of practice program.
- Health Education Training Institute (2012). The Learning Guide – A handbook for allied health professionals facilitating learning in the workplace. Sydney: HETI. Retrieved from http://www.heti.nsw.gov.au/Global/HETI-Resources/allied-health/allied-health-learning-guide.pdf
- National Rural Health Student Network (2013). Extended scope of practice, emerging health professions and rural career pathway attraction opportunities position paper.
- National Rural Health Student Network (2012). Inter Professional Education (IPE) position paper.
- Smith, T., Stone, N. & Bull, R. (2008). In Liaw, S. & Kilpatrick, S. (Eds.). A textbook of Australian Rural Health. Australian Rural Health Education Network, Canberra.