Impact of International Service Experience on Experienced Healthcare Professionals’ Approach to Patient-centered, Team-based, Collaborative Care
The impact of the hidden curriculum within healthcare education is well documented. International service learning has been used to develop students’ global awareness, cultural competence, and progression toward the IPEC core competencies. However, the impact of international interprofessional collaborative service experiences on behaviors of experienced health care professionals (HCPs) has not been studied. Since these HCPs provide the hidden curriculum, more information is needed to assess the potential of interprofessional collaborative service experiences in redirecting HCPs toward consistently positive exhibitions of interprofessional practice.
Fourteen interprofessional participants from several hospital systems and states participated in a 15-day volunteer service opportunity, providing orthopedic consultation, surgery, and rehabilitation to patients in the Republic of Palau. Following the experience, participants completed the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey (ICCAS), a 20-item retrospective pre-/post-test that measures the self-reported competencies of interprofessional care.
Six participants fully completed the Survey and were included in the analyses. Though paired t-tests demonstrated no significant difference in overall ICCAS scores, significant differences were demonstrated in both the ‘conflict management/resolution’ (Pre-: 6.33, SE=0.149; Post-: 6.50, SE=0.188).
These improvements suggest that international service experiences may be an optimal interprofessional learning environment that better prepares experienced HCPs to reflect the IPEC core competencies by developing mutual respect, using the improved knowledge of each profession to enhance patient-centered care, and communicating responsibly to support a team approach. The change in HCPs behavior may contribute to better alignment of education and clinical practice, hence minimizing the negative effects of the hidden curriculum. Future outcomes related to the international service experiences and interprofessional collaborative practice may be improved with formal interprofessional education for the HCPs addressing clarification of roles and responsibilities of the team members.