Research

A journey through interprofessional education: Students’ perspectives of teamwork in a transforming curriculum

A Hendricks, N Hartman, L Olckers

Abstract


Background. Student engagement in curricular transformation is topical at the University of Cape Town (UCT), including in its Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS). Teamwork, which is essential to contemporary interprofessional healthcare, is an objective of transformative health sciences education. This study offers a contemporary contribution from the perspective of students to earlier work on shared learning at UCT FHS. 

Objectives. There is a paucity of research literature on this study’s target population. Therefore, a qualitative design was used to explore first-year health sciences students’ perceptions and experiences of teamwork within an undergraduate shared learning programme. 

Methods. The primary data collection method was focus group discussion. Two additional qualitative methods, free-listing and pile-sorting, were used to expand upon data collected in the focus groups. Results were analysed thematically. 

Results. The study sample (N=32) included first-year audiology, medical, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech and language pathology students. The findings revealed that although their experiences of teamwork varied, students had a comprehensive perception of what teamwork entailed in their educational context. Therefore, the findings were used to generate a heuristic for teamwork learning for undergraduate health sciences students. 

Conclusion. The study positions students to contribute tangibly to the curricular transformation process at their university. Students’ perspectives of teamwork may be useful in the future design and delivery of entry-level interprofessional courses aiming to instil teamwork skills.


Authors' affiliations

A Hendricks, Department of Health Sciences Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

N Hartman, Department of Health Sciences Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

L Olckers, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2022;14(2):72.

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-06-09
Date published: 2022-06-09

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