Interprofessional student meetings in municipal health service - Mutual learning towards a community of practice in patient care
Mutual engagement is fundamental in interprofessional collaboration. This paper investigated how mutual engagement evolves in interprofessional student meetings when medical, nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy students shape their own collaboration and learning in patient care. We conducted a qualitative study with an ethnographic design. The data material consists of 200 hours of observations across nine student groups and two informal conversations with each student group during a two-week clinical placement in the period of 2014–2015. The interprofessional student meetings and the informal conversations were audio recorded, and field notes were prepared from our observations of the student activities. In the data analysis, we relied on an interpretative thematic analysis and used the sociocultural theory of learning as an interpretative framework. The analysis showed that mutuality evolved through three types of mutual engagement: facilitating interactions, actual interactions and clarifying further interactions. In conclusion, complex mutual engagement in patient care evolved and was maintained in interprofessional student meetings when the students had an explicit opportunity to shape their own interprofessional collaboration and learning. The students’ opportunity to shape the interprofessional collaborative practice in patient care themselves appeared to be a criterion for success.
Submitted manuscript version. Published version available at https://doi.org/10.1080/13561820.2018.1515732.