Palliative care: a suitable setting for undergraduate interprofessional education.
Wee B., Hillier R., Coles C., Mountford B., Sheldon F., Turner P.
Effective delivery of high-quality palliative care requires effective interprofessional teamworking by skilled health and social care professionals. Palliative care is therefore highly suitable for sowing the seeds of interprofessional teamworking in early professional education. This paper describes experiences of running undergraduate interprofessional workshops in palliative care for medical, nursing, social work, physiotherapy and occupational therapy students. These workshops are unusual in three respects: first, the involvement of family carers mean that these learning experiences are rooted in clinical reality; secondly, there is no attempt to 'tidy up' the story for the students; thirdly, unlike many undergraduate interprofessional programmes, these workshops have been sustained over several years. Evaluation of these workshops demonstrate that students value and enjoy the opportunity to work together; they find the experience moving, informative and interesting. Feedback from carers showed that they appreciated the opportunity to present their real-life experiences to students. Our evidence suggests that palliative care is a suitable subject for undergraduate interprofessional education.