Supporting interprofessional practice as a step to a resilient workforce

Kathryn Fitzgerald1, Maeva Hall2

1Western Australian Centre for Rural Health. PO 109 Geraldton WA  6531,
2Western Australian Centre for Rural Health. PO 109 Geraldton WA  6531,

The Western Australian Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) is a University Department of Rural Health with a focus on education and research to meet workforce needs now and in the future.

To complement key learning and interprofessional practice, students participate in a 5 week paediatric clinic. We will outline the format and impacts for the client, students and clinicians.

The Clinic is a partnership between the Rural Clinical School, WACRH and Hospital. Students are form across the allied health disciplines and medicine.

The clinic format is:

  • Week 1: Orientation
  • Week 2: Case History
  • Weeks 3 and 4:  Interprofessional Assessment
  • Week 5: Feedback and written report

Students work in teams of 3-5, with 2 students leading the weekly consultation.  Each team has an experienced clinical facilitator, with access to of clinical advisors as required, including paediatrician, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and social worker.

The lead students often are collecting data that would not normally be within their scope of practice.  Data collection is complimented by the other students observing the live steaming and supports the learning with and from each other that is central to interprofessional practice.

Clinics run for 3.5 hours with team briefings, tutorials, debriefing and the clinical consultation.  The debrief includes parent feed back to the students on their performance for a parent perspective.

This presentation will include video commentary from parents, students and clinical staff on their perceptions of the process and impact on learning. We will outline our plan for expansion to other types of interprofessional teaching clinics and how these fit in parallel with the more traditional placement delivery.


Maeva Hall, OT with over 30 years rural experience in public, private and tertiary sectors. Currently the Deputy Director of WACRH and lead of the Education Team with a focus on building health literacy, attracting people to health careers, providing high quality placement opportunities and supporting the clinicians in their rural activity and extension around evaluation, research and higher education as determined.

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