Interprofessional Learning Opportunities

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Interprofessional Learning Opportunities:

Within the workplace

Simulated Learning

Health Fusion



Within the workplace

Everyday clinical activities provide a myriad of environments for IPL.

  • In services
  • team meetings
  • ward rounds
  • case conferences
  • home visiting
  • group programs
  • initial assessments
  • case screening
  • written correspondence
  • Teleconferencing

Interprofessional practice is integral for client care to be successfully achieved.  Supervisors can facilitate students’ awareness of their own and others’ roles within these settings.  The table below provides some themes for supervisors to consider when using IPE with students.

Themes for learning outcomes from interprofessional learning




  •   Knowledge of and skills for (including recognition of importance of common goals)
  •   Knowledge of, skills for and positive attitudes to collaboration with other health professionals
  •   Assume the roles and responsibilities of team leader and team member
  •   Barriers to teamwork
  •   Improve collaboration with other health professionals in the workplace
  •   Analysis of when and why professionals become key workers
  •   Facilitate interprofessional care conferences, team meetings etc.
  •   Team dynamics and power relationships
  •   Cooperation and accountability

Roles/ responsibilities

  •   Knowledge and understanding of the different roles, responsibilities and expertise of health professionals
  •   Knowledge and development of one’s own professional role
  •   Similarities and differences relating to roles, attitudes and skills
  •   Understanding of role/professional boundaries
  •   Being able to challenge misconceptions in relations to roles
  •   Knowledge of the health system and organization of health care within it
  •   Philosophies of care


  •   Communicate effectively with other health professional students
  •   With other professionals
  •   Negotiation and conflict resolution
  •   Express one’s opinions to others involved with care
  •   Listens to others/team members
  •   Shared decision making
  •   Communication at beginning and end of shifts (handover, handoff)
  •   Awareness of difference in professionals’ language
  •   Exchange of essential clinical information (health records, through electronic media)
  •   Learning/reflection  
  •   Identification of learning needs in relation to future development in a team
  •   Identification of common professional interests through reflection
  •   Learning through peer support
  •   Reflect critically on one’s own relationship within a team
  •   Transfer interprofessional learning to clinical setting
  •   Self-questioning of personal prejudice and stereotyped views

The patient

  •   The patient’s central role in interprofessional care (patient-focused or centred   care)
  •   Understanding of the service user’s perspective (and family/carers)
  •   Working together and cooperatively in the best interests of the patient
  •   Patient safety issues
  •   Recognition of patient’s needs
  •   Patient as partner within the team


  •   Acknowledge views and ideas of other professionals
  •   Respect
  •   Ethical issues relating to teamwork
  •   Ability to cope with uncertainty
  •   Understand one’s own and other’s stereotyping
  •   Tolerate difference, misunderstandings and shortcomings in other professionals
  •   Whistle blowing

Thistlethwaite & Moran, 2010, p.511

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Simulated learning

Throughout University courses, students from many professions undertake simulated learning.  Either with actors, each other, or pre-recorded scenarios, students are provided with the opportunity to experience a clinical case study in real time.  Students must undertake an assessment, provide interventions and evaluate the outcomes with the ‘simulated’ client.  Simulated learning provides a controlled environment for students to practise what they have been taught in the formal education setting, enhancing their skills prior to practicing in the workplace when on clinical placement.

Take a look at some of the scenarios put together by Edith Cowan University including video clips, proposed learning format and competencies and a facilitator manual for each topic. 

This Department of Health link summarises work completed by Health Workforce Australia on simulated learning environments (SLE's) including funding allocations, setting them up and further expanding SLE’s.

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HealthFusion Health care Team Challenge is an Australian program dedicated to encouraging greater collaboration between tomorrow’s health care professionals to ensure patients are provided with the best possible treatment and support (HealthFusion).

In each competition, teams are made up of outstanding students drawn from across the health sciences. Professions already involved include audiology, behavioural science, biomedical science, dietetics, dentistry, disability studies, exercise physiology, medicine, midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy, paramedic science, pharmacy, physiotherapy, psychology, social work and speech pathology. Students from other health professions are encouraged to become part of the HFTC.

Working together over several weeks, the teams must develop a management plan which reflects best practice for a ‘real’ client with complex needs (Health Fusion).

This is an excellent opportunity for students and many may have completed this prior to clinical placement with you or may be completing after placement.

For further information relating to this competition, please follow the link to




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.




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