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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 177-182

Impact of a rural interprofessional health professions summer preceptorship educational experience on participants' attitudes and knowledge

National Center for Rural Health Professions, University of Illinois Health Sciences Center, Rockford, IL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Martin MacDowell
Associate Director and Research Associate Professor, National Center for Rural Health Professions, University of Illinois Health Sciences Center, 1601 Parkview Avenue, Rockford, IL 61107
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.143783

Background: A six-week rural interprofessional health professions summer preceptorship provided an interprofessional training experience (IPE) for upper level baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate/graduate level health professions students in Dixon, Illinois, USA. There are three distinct yet complementary components of this forty hours per week summer preceptorship: Numerous interprofessional clinical shadowing experiences, a community service-learning project carried out as a team and weekly classroom sessions. This study assesses knowledge and attitude changes about IPE among students who participated in this Rural Interprofessional Health Professions Summer Preceptorship between 2006 and 2011. Methods: Fifty-two students over the six program years were asked to complete an identical pre-/post-questionnaire. The questionnaire included scales on seven topics, two of which addressed knowledge and attitudes about IPE: (i) Understanding of their own and other professions' work roles and (ii) Perceived ability to work effectively in interprofessional teams and make use of skills of other professions. Fifty of the fifty two (96.1%) students completed both the pre- and post-tests. Results: Positive changes from the pre- to the post-tests were observed for the scales that related to interaction with other professions and assessment of their professional skills and students' understanding of the roles of other professions. Pre- versus post-preceptorship students also reported greater experience working as a member of an interprofessional team and an increase in their support for interprofessional education within a rural setting being required for all health professions students. Conclusion: A rural interprofessional health professions summer preceptorship that includes preceptor shadowing, a community service-learning project and classroom work proved to be an effective approach to developing interprofessional health care teams, increasing the knowledge and skills of participating students and creating positive attitudes toward interactions with other professions.

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