A Phenomenological Exploration of the Relationship Experiences of Health Profession Students in a Context of Interprofessional Clinical Practice
Interprofessional collaboration in health care practice is thought to be an answer to the issues of costs and quality of care in health care services (Chong, Aslanie, & Chin, 2013, Meads & Ashcroft, 2005, World Health Organization 2010). Salfi, Allen, Mohaupt, & Patterson, and (2012) stated that it would be preferable for health care professionals to enter practice with the skills for interprofessional collaboration (IPC) in place. While some studies have explored the experiences of students with IPC, more in-depth understanding of their experience continues to be needed. Practitioners and students of the health care professions interested in interprofessional collaboration extended the hours of a primary care clinic in a low-income area of a western Canadian city to provide services for its citizens. An interpretive phenomenological study was carried out involving students who were volunteers in the clinical project. Major findings related to a social justice orientation facilitated by the Social Determinants of Health model, the perceived need among the participants for more clinical practice experience and learning from each other, their mentors and the people who used the clinic, and about themselves as well as clinical practice in a low-income neighbourhood. Their most profound learning was provoked by situations that produced dissonance which caused them to reflect more deeply on the issues. The participants in the study found the experience of volunteering at the clinic to be “addicting”. The philosophy directing the program was embraced by each of them. They loved working with the community members, the patient centred, holistic approach, and knowing that there were other experienced practitioners there who would carry on when they were not there.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)