Interprofessional Student Perceptions of Planning and Implementing a Student-led, Faculty-guided Rural Health Clinic
Purpose: To develop an interprofessional student-led, faculty-guided clinic in a rural, medically underserved area in Wisconsin through applying an existing innovative clinical education model. A local university provides a system for training and practice of interprofessional students in a rural community increasing access to preventive health care to individuals and families in rural medically underserved communities. The primary aim of the project was to qualitatively describe perceptions of interprofessional students after completing community assessment, planning, and implementation phases and secondarily to understand student learning experiences in adopting and leading a community model within a rural practice setting.
Sample: Participants were interprofessional undergraduate and graduate students placed within an interprofessional clinical education model for an assigned clinical, field, or practicum rotation (n=64).
Methods: Institutional Review Board approval was obtained prior to implementation of the qualitative evaluation of this project. Open-ended survey questions were distributed via Qualtrics following the student’s experience. Thematic analysis was completed identifying themes of learning and perceptions in rural settings.
Findings: Twenty-six anonymous surveys were collected. Major themes identified were cultivating patient outcomes, understanding community as the client, leading through community assessment, and improving self-communication and collaboration.
Conclusion: Participants perceived value in learning within rural settings and noted unique learning features of rurality, primarily around access and resources. Participants learned the importance of working together across professions to serve rural areas. Schools of nursing and health sciences can be an advantageous partner with others to support health needs in rural settings.
Keywords: Community health, Interprofessional practice, Nurse-led, Rural health, Student-led
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