Planning for Interprofessional Education opportunities

Quality care consists of meeting a client’s healthcare needs and goals.  Rarely is there a setting where only one health professional can meet all of the healthcare needs of a client. 

In this video, we hear from Teresa and Anne from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland, who discuss how learning opportunities can be facilitated during an interprofessional student placement.


Interprofessional education opportunities during the student placement


There are many opportunities for interprofessional interaction in a student placement.  Some examples include:

  • Orientation, tutorials or in services involving students from more than one profession.  These could focus on topics that are relevant to a range of health professionals, for example, models of care, referral pathways, micro-counselling skills or building a therapeutic relationship with the client.
  • Team meetings, or ward rounds attended by a range of health professionals and students, to provide students with an opportunity to observe and participate in team communication
  • Case studies, case conferences and/or case screening that allow students from different professions to discuss their roles and scope of practice in the context of the care of a client.
  • Observation of a health professional or student health professional from another profession providing care
  • Project based placements that require input from more than one health profession.
  • Group therapy sessions or home visits that can be delivered by professionals and or students from different health backgrounds.
  • Discharge planning meetings where student can observe the written correspondence and team discussions completed by the multi-disciplinary team.

Themes for learning outcomes from interprofessional learning

The table below unpacks some of the learning outcomes associated with interprofessional education.




Students gain knowledge and skills in:

  • collaborating with other health professionals to facilitate interprofessional care,
  • recognising common goals,
  • understanding team dynamics and power relationships,
  • recognising barriers to teamwork, and
  • cooperation and accountability.

Roles/ responsibilities

Students can appreciate differences and similarities in the roles, responsibilities and expertise of team members and gain knowledge in:

  • different philosophies of care,
  • health systems,
  • and their own professional scope and boundaries.


Students appreciate the differences in professionals’ language and learn to communicate with other students and professionals involved with client care.  This can include:

  • active listening to the ideas of other team members,
  • shared decision making, and
  • negotiation and conflict resolution.

Client centred care

Students appreciate the value in working together as a team in the best interests of the client.  This can include:

  • understanding the client’s role and perspective as a partner within the team
  • recognising the client’s needs, and
  • managing client safety concerns.


Students gain knowledge and skills in:

  • respecting and acknowledging the views and ideas of other health professionals, even when they may be different from their own,
  • coping with uncertainty, and
  • ethical issues relating to teamwork.

As you can see, learning outcomes include teamwork, communication, reflection, and understanding ethics, attitudes and client centred care. The knowledge and skills students achieve from these learning outcomes will guide their transition to a ompetent health professional.

Examples of interprofessional education opportunties within the workplace


  • About the Health Fusion Health Care Team Challenge, (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • Thistlethwaite, J. & Moran, M. (2010). Learning outcomes for interprofessional education (IPE): Literature review and synthesis. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 24 (5), 503–513.
  • Occupational Therapy Clinical Education Program (2019) Factsheet: Supporting student learning through interprofessional opportunities.  Queensland Health




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