Jacqueline M. Loversidge, PhD, RNC-AWHC and Ada Demb, EdD
The effectiveness of interprofessional teams is critical to the safe and effective delivery of health care. Improvements in team behavior rely on collaboration, and, result in reductions in medical error. Educators in the health professions are consequently encouraged to embed interprofessional education (IPE) into their curricula. However, integrating IPE presents structural, curricular and human factor challenges.
Nurses and physicians comprise the dominant dyad in health care teams, therefore insights from nursing and medical faculty are essential for guiding IPE strategy. IPE research has focused heavily on learners, in pre-licensure and continuing education settings, but less is known about IPE from the faculty point of view. A phenomenological study of nursing and medical faculty perceptions regarding key factors in IPE was conducted to that end. This poster presents findings focused on the structural and change aspects revealed in that study.
Collaboration and cooperation theories guided development of the study and construction of the research questions, a semi-structured interview guide, and data analysis. Faculty were asked to reflect on the pedagogical and environmental factors that helped students learn interprofessional teamwork and collaboration, and to describe their experiences. Interviews were conducted with 32 faculty from three Midwest universities. Approximately half the participants were nursing and half medical faculty. Data were analyzed thematically, and the perceived realities of the two faculty groups explored and compared for common themes.
Two major thematic categories, student-centered, and environment and cultures, were used to organize 6 emergent themes: curricular methods/pedagogy, clinical environments, student roles/role understanding, educational program structures/cultures, faculty engagement/competency and development, and curricular change considerations. Findings related to the six major themes are reported elsewhere (Loversidge & Demb, 2014). During the data analysis, the researchers noticed strong references to innovation and change threaded throughout the participant’s descriptions of their lived experiences and felt this warranted a secondary analysis of the data. Innovation and change theories guided the secondary analysis. Two rounds of data coding, reduction, and analysis were conducted using NVivo10.
Findings revealed faculty perspectives related to IPE innovation and change. Participants discussed processes they engaged in or observed that advanced or hindered IPE and focused on aspects of academic medical center structures, the presence of committed leadership, curricular restructuring, curricular funding, inter-college and departmental relationships and partnerships, and authentic/comprehensive faculty engagement. Changes in education and practice partnerships emphasizing the cultivation of positive collaborative environments were considered essential. Not only does IPE require innovative pedagogy and faculty proficiency, but supportive academic structures and clinical environments are also necessary. Achieving real change toward embedding IPE in curricula was described as an achievable but formidable task: an effort requiring both innovation and organizational change. These findings reveal implications for nursing and medical educators, which include addressing the structure of relationships between colleges and departments in academic medical centers, developing processes essential for realizing fundamental curriculum change, and managing forces for improving faculty engagement in IPE.