Background Lack of physician-nurse collaboration in wound management may result in prolonged healing process for the patients (Apelqvist, 2012). In order to facilitate future professional collaboration interprofessional undergraduate learning activities has been proposed (Barr et al., 2005).
Objectives The aim of this study is to investigate changes and characteristics of nursing and medical students’ attitudes towards each other’s future professions in relation to a joint learning activity in wound management. Methods Medical (n=40) and nursing (n=50) students were jointly trained in compression therapy, Doppler assessment and wound case studies. Students were measured by the Jefferson scale on attitudes toward Physician-Nurse Collaboration (Hojat, et al., 1999) and compared to previously gathered baseline scores. Focus group interviews were held to deepen the knowledge about characteristics of attitudes towards both the others’ profession and towards collaboration.
Results Students scored high on the Jefferson scale in conjunction to the IPE activity. However, since also the baseline group scored high, no differences were detected after joint training. Preliminary analysis of qualitative data shows that medical students’ consider the nursing role as practically oriented with focus on the patients’ different needs of care, while nursing students sees the role of physicians as generation bound pointing to elderly physicians’ dominance and younger physicians’ flexibility but also to variations between organizational levels of care. Students experienced a lack of structural support for collaboration in their clinical practice. Interprofessional training was considered as important to gain insight into each other’s complementing knowledge area. Furthermore joint training was considered providing wider perspectives of patient care.
Implications The joint learning activity provided new insight into the other profession’s competence, and was appreciated by the students. This kind of learning activity may increase future professional collaboration and thus improve wound management. Efforts should be made to find strategies for structures facilitating collaboration in clinical practice.
nurse-physician student, collaboration, wound management