What is an IPE placement?
On this website, ‘IPE placement’ is an umbrella term used to describe any type of IPE incorporated into a student placement, whether that be added, embedded, or dedicated IPE. Barr & Brewer (2012) explore these three terms in more detail below.
|Type of placement/activity||Explanation||Examples|
|Added||During traditional placements within an organisation a range of IPE experiences could be ‘added’ to the learning experience.||
|Embedded||During traditional placements within an organisation, IPE experiences are intentionally embedded as part of the placement program to help students understand their role in patient care within the specific work context.||
|Dedicated||Students undertake a dedicated placement where they work for much of the time as an interprofessional team. This is similar to the interprofessional training wards that can be found in other parts of the world. This also allows for organisations to explore opportunities to create new services or fill service gaps by having students deliver services under the supervision of qualified health professionals.||
Adapted from: Barr, H., & Brewer, M. (2012). Interprofessional practice-based education. In J. Higgs, R. Barnett, S. Billett, M. Hutchings & F. Trede. (Eds.). Practice-based education: Perspectives, and strategies. (p. 199-212). Sense Publishers. And Oosterom, N., Floren, L. C., Ten Cate, O., & Westerveld, H. E. (2019). A review of interprofessional training wards: enhancing student learning and patient outcomes. Medical Teacher, 41(5), 547-554.
Benefits of IPE placements
While general benefits of clinical education apply, there are some unique advantages offered by interprofessional education placement. Some of these include:
- Increased insight into their own and other professions’ roles, and ability to communicate this to other team members
- Increased confidence sharing their expertise in a team
- Improved collaboration and teamwork in their subsequent practice
- Improved decision making as a result of the information sharing that occurred between professionals
- Improved understanding of factors and processes that lead to interprofessional practice
Service user benefits:
- Improved assessments and interventions because of shared information between students
- Enhanced client centred care through increased collaboration
System benefits of collaborative practice:
- Reduced professional stereotypes and increased knowledge of scope of practice leading to better referrals and use of other professions expertise
- Improved access to health services
- Improved patient care (satisfaction) and outcomes (reduced length of stay, reduced complications, reduced readmissions, reduced mortality and clinical error) through collaborative care
- Reduced the burden on systems through improved service use, appropriate use of specialist clinical resources
The video below ‘Interprofessional learning at The Murri School’ (03:18) showcases an interprofessional clinic run by occupational therapy and speech pathology students and illustrates benefits experienced by students, supervisors, and clients.
Clinical educator and student perspectives of interprofessional clinical education placements within the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health are described in this video(02:00):
References remain valid until superseded by later research. The resources referenced here are regularly reviewed and are considered current and relevant to the topics presented:
- Brewer, M. L., & Barr, H. (2016). Interprofessional education and practice guide no. 8: Team-based interprofessional practice placements. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 30(6), 747-753.
- Barr, H., & Brewer, M. (2012). Interprofessional practice-based education. In J. Higgs, R. Barnett, S. Billett, M. Hutchings & F. Trede. (Eds.). Practice-based education: Perspectives, and strategies. (p. 199-212). Sense Publishers.
- Oosterom, N., Floren, L. C., Ten Cate, O., & Westerveld, H. E. (2019). A review of interprofessional training wards: enhancing student learning and patient outcomes. Medical Teacher, 41(5), 547-554.
- Wei, H., Horns, P., Sears, S. F., Huang, K., Smith, C. M., & Wei, T. L. (2022). A systematic meta-review of systematic reviews about interprofessional collaboration: facilitators, barriers, and outcomes. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 36(5), 735-749.
- World Health Organisation (2010) Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/framework-for-action-on-interprofessional-education-collaborative-practice