The challenges of providing interdisciplinary education in a palliative care programme

Nicholl, Honor, Connaire, Kevin, Price, Jayne, Tracey, Catherine, Corroon, Anne-Marie, Doyle, Carmel, Nic Philibín, Caitríona, Hayes, Anne and Malone, Helen (2012) The challenges of providing interdisciplinary education in a palliative care programme. In: AISHE-Conference 2012: Responding to Change: Effective Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30th & 31st August 2012, Dublin City University, Ireland..


Palliative care for children is a new and developing speciality in health care. Consequently in national and international policies the need to develop and implement palliative care education programmes is reported and work is ongoing on the development and implementation of such programmes at undergraduate and post-graduate level. At the same time within education a clear focus has been placed on the requirement to deliver interprofessional education programmes. The need to improve communication across professional groups has been identified, and the requirement to provide opportunities to share experiences is reported as a benefit for adopting this collaborative approach in education curriculum development.In this presentation the experiences of delivering three interprofessional modules in children’s palliative care in Trinity College Dublin will be examined. This new programme funded by the Irish Hospice Foundation involved the development and delivery of three (10 credit) interdisciplinary modules in children’s palliative care at Master’s level. The delivery of the innovative programme provided challenges and opportunities for the team of lecturers involved in teaching nurses, social workers and chaplains who has disparate Background s. Some of these issues were foreseen, and planned for, while others emerged as the programme was delivered. This required a rapidly responsive approach to teaching a diverse group of health professionals each of whom had differencing expectations, experiences and academic Background s. Teaching strategies that were implemented to accommodate this diversity and to encourage group learning and interprofessional collaboration will be explored and discussed. The lecturer and student evaluation from the programme will be used throughout the presentation to provide examples of success and to identify issues that need attention in future programmes.

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