Home visit scenario

Psychosocial Inter-Professional Education (PIPE) project: a multidisciplinary student collaboration to address working with complex perinatal women.

The aim of the Psychosocial Inter-Professional Education (PIPE) project is to increase health professional students’ awareness and skills in interprofessional collaboration in the perinatal period. Significant poor outcomes result from women experiencing complex issues in the perinatal period. It is critical that students have the knowledge and skills to work effectively and collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams with facilitator guided scenarios that include simulated meetings, joint care planning, role playing interactions between women and professionals and designing referral pathways. Short videos of such interactions were prepared in advance and embedded into scenarios. This innovative collaboration was created in a unit for student midwives, medical, psychology and social work students.

The PIPE project was introduced into a Bachelor of Midwifery Curriculum as a mandatory requirement for midwifery students and as an elective unit for Masters of Psychology students, Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery students and Social Work students. Our vision is to deliver learning pods across the University with the funding received from two Vice Chancellors’ awards for this initiative.

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Key staff

Associate Professor Virginia Stulz, Professor Virginia Schmied (lead) and Hazel Keedle were the three academics from the Western Sydney University, School of Nursing and Midwifery who coordinated the units in the Bachelor of Midwifery program. They engaged with the other team members from the other academic disciplines (Professor Tanya Meade, Rosemary Qummouh, Janet Conti, Professor Phillipa Hay), the Digital Media team (Dr Rachel Bentley, Dr Holly Kaye-Smith) and other clinicians to co-script and produce the resources.

The clinicians names include: Louise Everitt, Melanie Rollins, Kathy Solanki, Karen Willcocks, Susan Harvey, Roy Laube, Ana Maria Munoz, Sharon Nicol.

 

Full details of 'Psychosocial Inter-Professional Education (PIPE) project: a multidisciplinary student collaboration'

Disciplines included in the WIL activity

Creative industries

Model/s of WIL activity

Case studies, Simulations, Role plays

Brief description of WIL activity

The aim of the Psychosocial Inter-Professional Education (PIPE) project is to increase health professional students’ awareness and skills in interprofessional collaboration in the perinatal period. Significant poor outcomes result from women experiencing complex issues in the perinatal period. It is critical that students have the knowledge and skills to work effectively and collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams with facilitator guided scenarios that include simulated meetings, joint care planning, role playing interactions between women and professionals and designing referral pathways. Short videos of such interactions were prepared in advance and embedded into scenarios. This innovative collaboration was created in a unit for student midwives, medical, psychology and social work students.

Length of time the WIL activity has been in operation

Our project commenced in November 2017 and over a six-month period, academics from Western Sydney University, clinicians from local health services and filmmakers collaborated to develop an innovative, simulated learning experience for students in the disciplines of midwifery, social work, psychology and medicine. This culminated into two one day workshops with 80 students held in May, 2018.

How does the WIL activity demonstrate good practice and/or innovation?

Students gained a greater breadth of understanding about each others’ roles and filmed vignettes from scenarios provided students with the visual realities of complex interactions with women in the perinatal period and built interprofessional skills working in a safe learning environment in a workshop that was facilitated by academics from midwifery, social work or psychology. Complex issues such as previous stillbirth, domestic violence, and mental health exposed students to challenging situations where collaboration was essential. Students learnt how each discipline could support the woman in their own unique way with no additional funding.

The PIPE project is directly transferrable to other disciplines as this initiative’s sole purpose was to adapt this approach to roll out this project across the university. One student commented “This was brilliant, how are you going to roll this out across the university?” The other disciplines included medicine, social work and psychology. As students within all of the disciplines are required to attend clinical practice experiences throughout their training programme, this project provides them opportunity to incorporate this working knowledge as an integral component to their practice. This WIL activity will be sustainable into the future with increasing numbers of students, and ensures that our teaching develops in response to the students’ needs in working towards preparing the best work place ready graduates. We have also produced a short video that encapsulates the work from this project and we plan to share this video across the university so that they can implement their own innovations.

Who benefits from the WIL activity and how?

Students in the disciplines of midwifery, social work, psychology and medicine provided comments that included: “I feel confident in assessing women for mental health issues”; “ I have some phrases to help me ask about domestic violence”; “This will really help in my interactions with women around sensitive issues” and “I know that I do not have to have all the answers, that I have access to professionals like social workers who can support me working with women”.  Medical students scribed the notes from the workshop: “I will be using these notes when I work with women with complex needs”.

How does the activity embed successful evaluation processes?

We surveyed 62 students prior to the workshop and 48 students post workshop. A t-test pairing the pre- and post-survey results for means was performed. On average, students from all disciplines experienced significantly greater confidence in working with a multidisciplinary team following the inter-collaborative workshop (M = 4.697, SE = 0.67), than prior to the workshop (M = 4.337, SE = 0.99, t(9) = -5.738, p < .001, r  = .88).  The open-ended comments included: “I started off thinking that interdisciplinary working was not important but I have really changed my mind”;  “I really gained a lot from role playing.”

What are the broader/longer term impacts for stakeholders?

From the perspectives of academics, clinicians and filmmakers, this has been an important initiative. New collaborations have been forged and as teachers we can see the potential for developing scenarios that incorporate online learning and also opportunities for using virtual reality technology to simulate interprofessional experiences including partnerships we have established with local clinicians and organisations. We also hope to share this innovation across the university and publish in peer-reviewed journals and present at future conferences. Students are able to critically analyse collaborative practices and cultural considerations for women within a multidisciplinary team that are linked to graduate attributes.

How is the WIL activity integrated into curricula?

The students are prepared by an introduction video and they are directed to read a chapter in a text, “Interprofessional collaboration”. In the workshops, the students are provided with a written case scenario and video and students are guided by a facilitator to identify and refer the complex woman to appropriate meetings and health professionals. The students are able to debrief and reflect on their chosen pathways and referral mechanisms for the woman within this multidisciplinary group and they feedback to the panel at the end of the day so that the panel can discuss and comment on their management.

How the case study is informed by relevant theoretical or empirical literature, research and/or scholarship

Interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when different professions learn alongside each other, to enable effective collaboration in the workplace (World Health Organization, 2010).  Since the WHO publication, “Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice” IPE and interprofessional practice (IPP) have become a priority for governments and health care regulators as they attempt to plan strategies to face the health care system challenges and improve patient satisfaction and health outcomes (Aziz, Teck et al., 2011). Students learning to work effectively in a multidisciplinary collaborative framework are more prepared to work better in a team based environment (Parsell & Bligh, 1999).

What are the plans for the WIL activity in the future?

This initiative plays an important role in the education of midwives, nurses, and other health professionals. The filmed vignettes provide ongoing resources for teaching. These first workshops were developed to test the model for student assessment and engagement and the second stage will be to produce the learning and assessment role assets in 360 VR to create a fully immersive world for students’ interaction and immersive learning. We plan for this initiative to be advertised and rolled out across the university and industry to ensure WIL is embedded into students’ curricula pathways and translates into real life work place situations.

References

Aziz, Z., et al. (2011). “The attitudes of Medical, Nursing and Pharmacy students to inter-professional learning.” Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 29: 639-645.

Parsell, G. and J. Bligh (1999). “The development of a questionnaire to assess the readiness of health care students for interprofessional learning (RIPLS).” Medical education 33(2): 95-100.

World Health Organization (2010) Framework for action on interprofessional education & collaborative practice

Student workshop

making video 1

Making the videos

Making the videos