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J Interprof Care. 2017 May;31(3):410-412. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2017.1283299. Epub 2017 Feb 28.

An interprofessional programme to culturally sensitise students to the needs of patients and realities of practice in rural areas.

Author information

1
a Department of Social and Public Health , Ohio University , Athens , Ohio , USA.
2
b Primary Care Office & Interprofessional Education , University of North Dakota , Grand Forks , North Dakota , USA.
3
c School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of North Dakota , Grand Forks , North Dakota , USA.
4
d Department of Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine & Health Sciences , University of North Dakota , Grand Forks , North Dakota , USA.

Abstract

The University of North Dakota programme, Students/residents Experiences And Rotations in Community Health (SEARCH), was implemented to address recruitment and retention problems and stereotypes associated with practicing in rural areas by providing an opportunity for health profession students to gain experience living and practicing in rural areas and observing interprofessional practice. Each health profession student in the programme (n = 181) from 2001 to 2011 (excluding 2009) kept a four-week journal detailing daily or weekly interactions, general thoughts, and experiences. Students who participated were from medical, psychology, dental, social work, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant professions. Results were grouped into three major themes around whether the experience increased their knowledge of healthcare issues in rural areas in North Dakota, increased their knowledge about interprofessional teams, and expanded their rural awareness. Overall, students valued this interprofessional experience, learned how to work in collaborative teams, and reported having a better understanding of the needs and problems in rural healthcare. Recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals in rural healthcare exhibit many challenges. The SEARCH programme has helped to alleviate some of these challenges; however, continued support for these programmes is necessary to sustain the delivery of interprofessional healthcare in rural areas.

KEYWORDS:

Evaluation; health profession education; interprofessional care; provider recruitment and retention; rural health

PMID:
28276845
DOI:
10.1080/13561820.2017.1283299
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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