Skip to main content

Evaluation of interprofessional student teams in the emergency department: opportunities and challenges



Interprofessional education opportunities are commonly university-based and require further development during clinical practice. Many clinical contexts offer the potential for meaningful learning of both collaborative and discipline-specific practice. The emergency department (ED) demands efficient teamwork, so presents a logical location for interprofessional learning.


An interprofessional clinical placement program was implemented with the aim to enhance students’ capacity and self-efficacy for collaborative practice. Fifty-five medical and nursing students participated as interdisciplinary pairs in a two-week clinical placement in the ED. Students’ perceptions of the learning environment were measured pre- and post-placement with the Self-efficacy for Interprofessional Experiential Learning Scale and the Interprofessional Clinical Placement Learning Inventory was completed post-placement. Non-parametric tests were used to establish change differences.


The Placement Learning Inventory revealed positive outcomes; the majority (16/19) agreed/agreed strongly that the placement provided sufficient learning opportunities, was interesting, and made them feel as if they belonged and most (14/19) reported they achieved the discipline specific learning objectives set by the university. Self-efficacy improved significantly (p = 0.017), showing promise for future use of the placement model Challenges were identified in the organisation and supervision of students. In the absence of additional dedicated student supervision, this model of interprofessional student pairs in the ED was challenging.


Interprofessional clinical placements in ED are an effective clinical learning approach for final year undergraduate medicine and nursing students. Recommendations for improvements for students’ clinical supervision are proposed for the placement model.

Peer Review reports


Interprofessional education (IPE) has been proposed as a mechanism to prepare health professional students for collaborative practice [1, 2]. Despite the repeated calls over many years to further develop opportunities for IPE in practice, IPE remains typically university based [3,4,5]. A review of literature on practice-based interprofessional learning identified multiple education models, varying from 2-hour workshops and case studies to one-day simulations and group sessions [6]. According to O’Leary et al. [5], a minimum duration of 2 weeks is recommended for meaningful impact on future practice. Longer 2-week interprofessional training wards (IPTW) have remained the most sustainable model of practice-based IPE [7] when organisational infrastructure is well-established [5].

Interprofessional training wards are effective environments for pre-registration healthcare learners because they offer authentic rehearsal of professional roles [8]. IPTWs have been operational in Scandinavia for many years, commonly in orthopaedic, medical and aged care wards [7] with some translation of the model reported in Australia [8, 9] and more recently in Germany [10, 11]. IPTWs have also been trialled in the emergency department (ED) with some success [12] although are yet to be translated to the Australian ED context.

A retrospective review of 7 years of a program in Sweden explored IPTW student feedback and reported medical, nurse, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy students’ perspectives on the processes of learning in an orthopaedic ward [13]. The review reported that the IPTW provided an enriching learning environment with authentic and relevant patients, well-composed and functioning student teams, competent and supportive supervisors, and adjusted ward structures to support learning. In addition, students improved awareness of their own development with belief in their ability to practice in the future, through rehearsing their future roles [13]. Similar findings are reported by Pelling and colleagues in their 5-year review of an orthopaedic IPTW [14]. They found that students’ understanding of their own and others’ roles improved, along with their valuing of teamwork. The pioneers of the Linkoping model have reported more than two decades of successful IPTW experience, and this program has been sustained [15].

A key contemporary view of the field that confirms these assessments is seen in a recent review of 37 studies of interprofessional training wards in 12 different institutions [16]. The IPTWs involving multiple professions (usually in teams of between two and 12 students and over a period of 2 weeks) showed promising results with regard to short-term student learning outcomes and patient satisfaction rates. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the overall literature supports positive outcomes and that the IPTW model is acceptable and effective for student education. Practice-based IPE helps to prepare students for collaborative practice and to be ready for entry to the healthcare workforce.

Healthcare faculties are tasked with producing ‘work-ready’ graduates, yet the literature continues to indicate short-comings among graduates [17, 18]. Social intelligence, communication and teamwork skills are presented as critical features of work readiness [18]. Self-efficacy is an important concept in preparing students for the workforce; self-efficacy reflects an individual’s beliefs in their competence and confidence to take on tasks and their perseverance in the face of challenge [19]. Healthcare systems are team based, complex, and depend on healthcare professionals with sophisticated levels of interpersonal communication and collaborative skills. The stakes are high for newly graduated health professionals, the organizations they work in, and most importantly, the patients they treat. A lack of teamwork and poor communication are consistently among the top contributors to sentinel events, with over half a million adverse events annually in Australian hospitals alone between 2012 and 2018 [20]. Improving the confidence, or self-efficacy, of future health professionals to better collaborate and communicate may help to avoid preventable errors and improve patient safety.

We conducted an interprofessional clinical placement program in the ED. The student placement was based on the long-standing model of the interprofessional training ward pioneered in Sweden in the 1990s [21, 22]. This new intervention was an evolution of an earlier model tested in this ED, reported previously by Meek et al. in 2013 [23]. The original study found the IP student placement model valid for application in ED, with ED performance indicators for patient throughput and the quality of care being maintained for patients managed by either students or clinicians [23]. Further investigation was needed to determine whether an adapted model, where student teams worked alongside and were supervised by clinicians, remained reasonable and appropriate for their learning.



The study aimed to investigate the outcomes of a program of interprofessional clinical placements in a metropolitan hospital ED. The purpose of the clinical placement was to enhance students’ capability and self-efficacy for collaborative practice.

The intervention

The interprofessional clinical placement program in the ED was designed in consultation with international and local experts in interprofessional education, university staff and health service clinicians. The model has final year (3rd year) nursing students and final (5th) year medical students working as a paired team alongside clinicians in a hospital ED over a period of 2 weeks (10 working days) on day shifts. All students who had been allocated to ED clinical placement by their university over the IPL period were invited to participate in the interprofessional experience by expressing interest.

The ED, in a metropolitan tertiary hospital in the state of Victoria, Australia, managed over 47,000 patient admissions annually. A limited number of beds were deemed appropriate and available for student care provision by two student pairs, which formed the main reason for the student sample being small.

Additionally, each placement duration was 2 weeks with one student pair, thus limiting the overall number of student participants. Interested students were selected on the basis of the dates of their placement coinciding with the IPL program over 16 weeks. (No record was kept of how many applicants were unsuccessful). Other students remained on placement in ED in the traditional placement model.

Participating students were provided with learning material and information about the interprofessional placement prior to commencing in the ED. They completed a half-day orientation program on day 1 of the IP placement.

Over eight placement fortnights in 2016 and 2017, 26 nursing students and 29 medical students completed the program as dedicated paired student teams. During the first half of the project, five pharmacy students and four physiotherapy students participated in the student teams for a single day placement. This was discontinued in the second half due to the difficulties with differing placement models and supervision requirements for these students. The student workflow is depicted in Fig. 1.

Fig. 1
figure 1

Work-flow chart – A model for interprofessional training ward placements based on nursing and medicine final year undergraduate student teams

Students’ interprofessional role

Students worked within the boundaries of their scope of practice, supervised by an experienced ED nurse and a doctor who were trained in facilitating interprofessional learning. Students were allocated selected patients with lower levels of acuity who were situated in one set of ED bays comprised of four beds, consistent with the nursing and medical workload allocation of the ED. Under supervision, student teams conducted all aspects of patient care including assessment, decision making about tests and investigations, planning of patient management and implementation of care, from patient admission to hospital, to their discharge or transfer. There was a maximum of two parallel medical/nursing student teams, that is four students per shift. It was not known what previous experience of interprofessional education had been completed by the placement students, as some university-and health service based short seminar programs were offered but were not compulsory.

Training for clinical supervisors involved a three-hour workshop about interprofessional facilitation, which blended individual preparation and a face-to-face interactive session. The learning objectives of the training workshop included: competence in interprofessional communication, team-working and collaboration and knowledge of other’s professional roles and boundaries. All supervisors had access to an online resource on the university’s learning management system, which held interprofessional training materials and facilitator resources. Interprofessional facilitator training is recommended for all supervisory clinical staff when establishing interprofessional learning [12, 24] and had been confirmed as good practice in a prior trial related to this study [25]. Students were allocated to clinical shifts alongside trained IP facilitators. The clinical supervision for student teams over the 10 days of a placement could, therefore, involve a number of different supervisors from each profession.


A survey approach was utilized for evaluation of this study. At the level of the organization, we explored the ED context as a site for interprofessional learning. At the level of the individual student, we explored student learning and self-efficacy in collaborative practice.

The research questions to be answered were, therefore:

  1. (i)

    How effective is the ED as a location for an interprofessional training ward for final year students?

  2. (ii)

    Does student self-efficacy improve after a two-week interprofessional placement?

Measurement instruments

The Self-efficacy for Interprofessional Experiential Learning Scale (SEIES) was used to measure students’ self-confidence in their ability to take on tasks and to persevere despite barriers they may encounter (RQ2). The SEIES instrument was selected as most appropriate to the placement context and interprofessional roles to respond to RQ2, as very few scales explore the specific contexts. Developed by Mann and colleagues [26], this 16-item and 10-point scale (1 = low confidence, 10 = high confidence) showed good internal validity for the scale (α = 0.96) and two subscales (Cronbach’s α = 0.94 and 0.93 respectively) when tested with 209 Canadian healthcare students. This scale was completed by participating students as an initial pre-test and a post-test with students allocating a personal code so that repeated surveys could be paired.

The student evaluation surveys were paper-based and collected anonymously in a ward post-box.

At the end of the placement, students completed a course evaluation survey: Interprofessional Clinical Placement Learning Inventory (ICPLEI) (RQ1), provided as Additional File 1 [see Additional File 1]. This 26-item, five-point scale was developed by members of the research team in a previous study to measure healthcare students’ perceptions of an interprofessional clinical placement experience, including orientation, supervision, roles, learning and autonomy [27]. The scale’s reliability was confirmed with Australian nursing, medical and allied health students (n = 38), a Cronbach alpha of 0.80 and moderate item-to-total correlations for 22/26 items. The Cronbach alpha with the current sample was adequate (α = 0.81). The survey included three open-text options asking about the best/ worst aspects of the course and suggestions for course improvement. The reasons for selecting this instrument is that it relates to the specific context under investigation, and has been trialled and found valid with similar IPL cohorts [6, 27].

Data collection

Students provided written consent to participate in the research. The SEIES was completed by participating students as an initial pre-test and a post-test with students allocating a personal code so that repeated surveys could be paired. On the last day of the placement students completed the placement evaluation inventory (ICPLEI).

The student evaluation surveys were paper-based and were collected anonymously in a ward post-box.

Data analysis

Descriptive and summary statistics (means, medians, standard deviations) were computed for quantitative data to report scale results using IBM-SPSS Statistics for Windows Vs 25 (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.). Between group differences were explored using non-parametric statistical tests (e.g., the Mann Whitney U Test for independent samples and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test for paired samples). P < 0.05 was regarded as significant. Missing data were not replaced, and this reduced the overall sample.

To explore the difference across student professions, student’s’ responses in open questions within the ICPLEI were mapped in a Word document to show medical and nursing discipline textual responses to explore the difference across student professions. Following the thematic analysis method of Creswell and Clark [28] the two sets of student responses were read and re-read by two researchers. Two researchers used open coding to tabulate and cluster response text to develop an understanding of program features and map those that were applicable to students in each profession. Further discussion and integration of these data sources with the agreement of both researchers enabled key themes to be generated.


We present the results in response to the two research questions.

RQ1: how effective is the ED as a location for an interprofessional training ward for final year students?

Nineteen students (seven medicine, 12 nursing) gave their perspectives about the effectiveness of the ED as a location for interprofessional learning. This equates to a response of 34.5% (19 of 55). The student responses are presented in Table 1 below.

Table 1 Student responses to the IPCLEI (n = 19)

There was strong support for learning in the ED context because it was an opportunity for application of the students’ knowledge and rehearsal of behaviours that would be needed in their future roles. Based on agreement with statements in the ICPLEI, many students (16/19) agreed/agreed strongly that the placement provided sufficient learning opportunities, was interesting, and it made them feel as if they belonged to the ward. The majority (14/19) reported they achieved the discipline specific learning objectives set by the university. The most common comment from students was that this was their first experience of independent practice, and they appreciated the “level of independent practice” that was permitted.

Eighteen of 19 students who responded to the ICPLEI agreed/strongly agreed that they developed a greater understanding of the role and function of other disciplines in health care and 15/19 agreed/strongly agreed they had a better understanding of the patient’s role in healthcare decision-making.

The interprofessional placement in ED was also perceived as beneficial in enabling a broader understanding of students’ future professional roles. Almost all (17/19) agreed/agreed strongly that the ED placement gave them a greater understanding of the role and function of other professions and gave new insights into how a ward is run and managed.

Additionally, most (14/19) felt comfortable in asking for advice or assistance when necessary, from student colleagues and valued having disciplines other than their own involved in teaching and learning. Open text comment supported these views. The best aspects were:

Learning to communicate in a team and collaboratively manage care (nursing student).

Teaming up and appreciating the nursing role in patient care (medical student).

Working in IPL meant that I got to be a teacher as well as a student (nursing student).

Getting first-hand experience of the nursing world, learning from my colleagues and growing together as the placement progressed (medical student).

There were, however, comments from medicine and nursing students about the nature and consistency of clinical supervision. Students were disappointed at a lack of continuity in supervisors. Some nursing students perceived they only had medical supervision, with the resulting view that a medical focus was sometimes dominant. This was despite students being allocated to both medical and nursing supervisors on every shift. This warrants further investigation.

Some student comments about the organisational and supervision problems are described below:

I found there were inefficiencies in patient care when always having to wait for both nursing and medical supervisors to get things done (medical student).

Some days … were a little bit slow, hard to find nurses for help and spent long waiting periods waiting for things to happen (nursing student).

Supervisors were variable in training for IPL. Suggest increased awareness & requirement for training (medical student).

I felt that at times the IPL placement was slightly disorganised, many staff members were asking me how it worked (nursing student).

RQ2: does student self-efficacy improve with a two-week interprofessional placement?

Initial self-reported confidence in ability (self-efficacy) surveys (SEIES) were received from 15 nursing and 14 medicine students (53% response), while 12 nursing and 12 medicine students (43.6%) returned post-test self-efficacy surveys. Students were positive about gains in learning and improvements in self-efficacy that were achieved after participating in the interprofessional placement. In addition to their reports of learning clinical practices and achieving uni-professional learning objectives set by the university, the interprofessional nature of clinical supervision was seen as valuable.

Self- efficacy ratings are presented in Table 2. There was a strongly significant increase in self-efficacy ratings at the end of placement. Of a possible score of 160, the median initial score was 99 (62%) and post-test median rating was 128 points (80%) (z = − 2.83, p = 0.017). A paired sample showed a large effect size of r = 0.62 (using Cohen’s d). When responses were examined by profession (medicine, nursing), a non-significant difference was found between groups in pre-test or post-test total scores. Although nurses initially rated their confidence on average higher than medical students (N = 102 versus M = 93 respectively), this difference did not reach a level of significance. The greatest improvements were in the items: ‘Interacting with students from other professions and disciplines than my own’; ‘Understanding and discussing the objectives of interprofessional learning’; and ‘Communicating effectively with other members of an interprofessional team’. These results confirm that student outcomes include their engagement with a new concept: collaborative working.

Table 2 Students’ responses to the Self-efficacy for Interprofessional Experiential Learning Scale


This study evaluated an interprofessional placement in the ED which was developed in consultation with academic interprofessional experts, university leadership and health service clinical and education staff. Ensuring clinical outcomes and engagement of stakeholders remained a priority consideration, as has been recommended [29].

The ED is a complex clinical environment for learners. Clinical care is high stakes and fast-paced; patient acuity is highly variable. We had previously tested an interprofessional clinical placement model in this ED with positive outcomes for students and patients [23]. We used our past experience to fine-tune the model in consultation with key internal stakeholders and advice from international experts.

The results show that students perceived the ED as an effective environment for learning interprofessional skills and behaviours. Central aspects of team working were learned as the students worked in their pairs to manage real patients, as evidenced by student self-reporting and supervisor observations. These included improved ways of team working with colleagues, especially team communication and cooperation. Importantly, students provided direct care to patients in the ED within the clinical learning environment.

It has been suggested that students exposed to authentic teamworking in real clinical settings will develop positive attitudes towards interprofessional behaviour [30] and these findings support that position. It is noteworthy that, while not the focus of this study, students also completed their discipline-specific learning requirements during the placement and reported that they were excited to learn new clinical skills such as intravenous cannulation and the application of plaster casts. The finding that an interprofessional placement can meet both uni-professional requirements and interprofessional objectives is important. This suggests it may not be necessary to source additional clinical placement time, but that existing placements can be adapted for interprofessional learning. Collaboration in practice is the norm. Placement structures that embody the ideal of collaborative care in real clinical settings, as described by Miller and Paradis [31] can be instituted as evidenced in this study. Reframing clinical placements, or aspects thereof, will allow students to experience the realities and the possibilities for their own future roles in collaborative clinical practice. In addition, observing genuine collaboration in practice provides students with powerful role models and the perception that teamwork is the dominant norm - as has been suggested [30, 31].

A lack of consistency in approaches to supervision among professional staff was found to be an issue that compromised students’ satisfaction. The student supervisors in the current study were not supernumerary to the staffing of the ED and simultaneously held responsibilities for clinical care. While this is the usual manner of student supervision, supporting the IPTW structure was found to be challenging at times. The rotating roster of supervisors was a concern for students owing to different supervisor approaches to teaching and supervision of the student teams. On every shift, trained clinical supervisors were allocated to the student pairs. Despite this, students at times reported the lack of an available supervisor or perceived that they had to wait to consult with supervisors when they became available. Similar findings have been reported in a well-established IPTW in an ED [12].

Increased consistency in supervision, and thus feedback, over placement days may enhance the student team’s learning trajectory. In the previous iteration of the model in this ED [23], a dedicated nurse facilitator was responsible for the supervision and coordination of the student teams. This model of a focused support person who is not responsible for clinical care is worth revisiting, supported by a recent qualitative meta-synthesis finding that additional human resources are required for the success of interprofessional practice-based placements [5].

The logistical challenges associated with this study are nothing new. Discipline specific placement models, curriculum requirements and different shift commencement times for nursing and medicine were evident. Some nursing students felt the placement did not reflect a real model of nursing, suggesting a lack of understanding of the purpose of the placement. Clearer expectations about the nature and purpose of the interprofessional placement may assist in enabling a broader view of teamwork as clinically authentic. We were unable to negotiate a common start and finish time for the students’ clinical shifts, with nursing students commencing at 0700 and medical students commencing at 0800 as was usual practice for their professions. For future placements, we recommend negotiation to achieve agreement on common placement rosters for student and supervisor teams. This may assist with teamwork formation and maximise collaboration within a unified placement structure.

The finding of a significant impact of the placement on preplacement student self-efficacy scores suggests that the interprofessional placement experience was effective in increasing the likelihood of future interprofessional behaviour. This increase is an important finding as students with stronger self-efficacy may be more inclined to sustain interprofessional behaviours in the future. We need to better understand why interprofessional learning changes behaviour, or the likelihood of future collaborative behaviour [12, 32,33,34]. Future research examining self-efficacy and collaborative intention among health professional students is strongly recommended using a framework such as the Theory of Planned Behaviour [35]. The inclusion of social scientists to tackle the underlying complex issues of identity, social influence and social constructs is an important consideration as our understanding of interprofessionalism evolves [36, 37].

Both the interprofessional practice placement and the corresponding evaluation had limitations. These include: a small number of student pairs available during dates assigned for placement and student preference for the same supervisor throughout the placement. This raises an issue that the results may have limited generalizability, thus should be interpreted with some caution. Our results align with those of a recent review of practice-based IPE that highlights the need for more robust theoretical foundations, layered leadership, and a significant shift in placement culture [5]. The sustainability of the future IPTW experiences in the ED will be influenced by each of these attributes.


The ED provides a natural environment in which to learn teamworking, however the optimal placement and supervision models require further investigation. This program of interprofessional placement was found to be beneficial by medical students and nursing students for learning to work alongside their colleagues, and lessons for future improvement of the placement model were gained. Whilst the program was feasible, further attention to the specific facilitators and barriers to IP training in the ED is required to embed a sustainable IPTW model.

Student self-efficacy gains following an immersive interprofessional placement were a key finding and should be further explored. We recommend that future interprofessional clinical learning is underpinned by educational and behaviour change theories in design and evaluation and should include experts in interprofessional education and social science. Future success will require robust relationships between education providers, health services and interprofessional researchers with the will to facilitate and sustain this model of ideal preparation of the future health workforce.

Availability of data and materials

The datasets analysed during the current study are not publicly available due to university confidentiality arrangements but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


  1. Institute of Medicine. Measuring the impact of interprofessional education on collaborative practice and patient outcomes. Washington: Institute of Medicine; 2015.

    Google Scholar 

  2. World Health Organization, Health Professions Network Nursing and Midwifery Office. Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice (WHO/HRH/HPN/10.3)at: Geneva: WHO; 2010.

  3. Barr H, Ford J, Gray R, Helme M, Low H, Machin AI, et al. CAIPE Interprofessional education guidelines: Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education.; 2017 [Available from:

  4. Lapkin S, Levett-Jones T, Gilligan C. A systematic review of the effectiveness of interprofessional education in health professional programs. Nurse Educ Today. 2013;33(2):90–102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. O'Leary N, Salmon N, Clifford A, O'Donoghue M, Reeves S. ‘Bumping along’: a qualitative metasynthesis of challenges to interprofessional placements. Med Educ. 2019;53(9):903–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Kent F, Hayes J, Glass S, Rees CE. Pre-registration interprofessional clinical education in the workplace: a realist review. Med Educ. 2017;51(9):903–17.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Jakobsen F. An overview of pedagogy and organisation in clinical interprofessional training units in Sweden and Denmark. J Interprof Care. 2016;30:1–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Hood K, Cant R, Leech M, Baulch J, Gilbee A. Trying on the professional self: nursing students' perceptions of learning about roles, identity and teamwork in an interprofessional clinical placement. Appl Nurs Res. 2014;27(2):109–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Brewer ML, Stewart-Wynne EG. An Australian hospital-based student training ward delivering safe, client-centred care while developing students' interprofessional practice capabilities. J Interprof Care. 2013;27(6):482–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Mihaljevic AL, Schmidt J, Mitzkat A, Probst P, Kenngott T, Mink J, et al. Heidelberger Interprofessionelle Ausbildungsstation (HIPSTA): a practice-and theory-guided approach to development and implementation of Germany’s first interprofessional training ward. GMS J. Med. Educ. 2018;35(3).

  11. Mink J, Mitzkat A, Krug K, Mihaljevic A, Trierweiler-Hauke B, Götsch B, et al. Impact of an interprofessional training ward on interprofessional competencies–a quantitative longitudinal study. J Interprof Care. 2020;35:1–9.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Ericson A, Löfgren S, Bolinder G, Reeves S, Kitto S, Masiello I. Interprofessional education in a student-led emergency department: a realist evaluation. J Interprof Care. 2017;31(2):199–206.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Hallin K, Kiessling A. A safe place with space for learning: experiences from an interprofessional training ward. J Interprof Care. 2016;30(2):141–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Pelling S, Kalen A, Hammar M, Wahlström O. Preparation for becoming members of health care teams: findings from a 5-year evaluation of a student interprofessional training ward. J Interprof Care. 2011;25(5):328–32.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Wilhelmsson M, Pelling S, Ludvigsson J, Hammar M, Dahlgren LO, Faresjö T. Twenty years experiences of interprofessional education in Linköping - ground-breaking and sustainable. J Interprof Care. 2009;23(2):121–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Oosterom N, Floren L, ten Cate O, Westerveld H. A review of interprofessional training wards: enhancing student learning and patient outcomes. Medical teacher. 2019;41(5):547–54.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Merga MK. Gaps in work readiness of graduate health professionals and impact on early practice: possibilities for future interprofessional learning. Health Prof. Educ. 2016;17(3):14–29.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Walker A, Yong M, Pang L, Fullarton C, Costa B, Dunning AT. Work readiness of graduate health professionals. Nurse Educ Today. 2013;33(2):116–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Bandura A. Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychol Rev. 1977;84(2):191.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia's health performance framework. Health system: Safety: Australian Government; [Available from:|4|2017%E2%80%9318&filter=2.2.1|2|Number%20of%20separations.

  21. Fallsberg M, Hammar MB. Strategies and focus at an integrated, interprofessional training ward. J Interprof Care. 2000;14(4):337–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Reeves S, Freeth D. The London training ward: an innovative interprofessional learning initiative. J Interprof Care. 2002;16(1):41–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Meek R, Morphet J, Hood K, Leech M, Sandry K. Effect of interprofessional student-led beds on emergency department performance indicators. Emerg Med Australas. 2013;25(5):427–34.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Henderson A, Alexander H. Developing a model for interprofessional education during clinical placements for medical and nursing undergraduate students. Griffith University and Australian Learning and Teaching Council; 2011.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Leech M, Hood K, Baulch J, Gilbee A, Anderson A, Cant R. Creating Interprofessional Learning Opportunities for Pre-registration Healthcare Students to Enrich Clinical Placement: The Increased Clinical Training Capacity (ICTC) Project; 2013.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Mann K, McFetridge-Durdle J, Breau L, Clovis J, Martin-Misener R, Matheson T, et al. Development of a scale to measure health professions students' self-efficacy beliefs in interprofessional learning. J Interprof Care. 2012;26(2):92–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Anderson A, Cant R, Hood K. Measuring students perceptions of interprofessional clinical placements: development of the interprofessional clinical placement learning environment inventory. Nurse Educ Pract. 2014;14(5):518–24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Creswell JW, Clark VLP. Principles of qualitative research: Designing a qualitative study. In: Office of Qualitative & mixed methods research. Lincoln: University of Nebraska; 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  29. McGettigan P, McKendree J. Interprofessional training for final year healthcare students: a mixed methods evaluation of the impact on ward staff and students of a two-week placement and of factors affecting sustainability. BMC Med Educ. 2015;15(1):185.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Thistlethwaite J. Interprofessional education: a review of context, learning and the research agenda. Med Educ. 2012;46(1):58–70.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Miller DW, Paradis E. Making it real: the institutionalization of collaboration through formal structure. J Interprof Care. 2020;34(4):528–36.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Thistlethwaite J, Kumar K, Moran M, Saunders R, Carr S. An exploratory review of pre-qualification interprofessional education evaluations. J Interprof Care. 2015;29(4):292–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Visser CL, Ket JC, Croiset G, Kusurkar RA. Perceptions of residents, medical and nursing students about Interprofessional education: a systematic review of the quantitative and qualitative literature. Med Educ. 2017;17(1):77.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Brandt B, Lutfiyya MN, King JA, Chioreso C. A scoping review of interprofessional collaborative practice and education using the lens of the triple aim. J Interprof Care. 2014;28(5):393–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Ajzen I. From intentions to actions: A theory of planned behavior. Action control. Springer; 1985. p. 11–39.

  36. Reeves S. Using the sociological imagination to explore the nature of interprofessional interactions and relations. In: Sociology of Interprofessional Health Care Practice: Critical Reflections and Concrete Solutions; 2011. p. 9–22.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Michalec B. Extending the table: engaging social science in the interprofessional realm: Taylor & Francis; 2022. p. 1–3.

    Google Scholar 

Download references


We would like to acknowledge Associate Professor Robert Meek, Emergency Physician, for his contribution to placement model design and leadership of the project in the Emergency Department. This project would not have been successful without him. We thank the clinical supervisors in the Emergency Department at Dandenong Hospital for their energy and willingness to engage in this project. We are grateful for the contribution of Associate Professor Fiona Kent for her support with project rollout, data collection and scholarly advice. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the guidance and support of Professor Scott Reeves, who was an advisor to the development of this project.


No specific funding was provided for this project.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



All three authors met the ICMJE criteria for authorship including: substantial contribution to the design of the work and to acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; and Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and Final approval of the version to be published.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kerry Hood.

Ethics declarations

Ethical approval and consent to participate

The study was conducted in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations as per the Declaration of Helsinki. Ethics approval was granted by Monash University Human Research and Ethics Committee (0263) and by Monash Health Research and Ethics Committee (RES-21-0000-102Q). All participants individually provided signed informed consent.

Consent for publication


Competing interests

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary Information

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hood, K., Cross, W.M. & Cant, R. Evaluation of interprofessional student teams in the emergency department: opportunities and challenges. BMC Med Educ 22, 878 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: