oa South African Family Practice - Multidisciplinary training of undergraduate students in the Faculty of Health Sciences : hypertension as a case study : original research
Background : Healthcare students should be aware of the specific skills, knowledge and management options of other disciplines in order to achieve an effective and cohesive working relationship.
Aim : The aim of this study was to expose healthcare students at the University of the Free State to one another's domains, as related to hypertension management, during a formal didactic lecture attended by medical, physiotherapy and dietetic students, and to determine whether they could apply in practice the theoretical knowledge regarding blood pressure measurement and exercise, obtained during a multidisciplinary session. The perceptions of students regarding multidisciplinary sessions were also to be obtained.
Method : Students received a formal lecture on hypertension from a medical doctor, a dietitian, a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist and they then worked in multidisciplinary groups to demonstrate the physiological effect of exercise on blood pressure and pulse rate. Students had to report their findings and perceptions of the session by completing data forms.
Results : A total of 125 medical, physiotherapy and human nutrition students participated in the session. The students were able to demonstrate the influence of exercise on blood pressure and pulse measurements. They reported that they enjoyed the multidisciplinary session and gained information on the scope of practice of the domains of the other disciplines. Negative feedback was received on the size of the groups and lack of equipment.
Conclusion : The students could apply theoretical knowledge in practice and all gave positive feedback. The sessions will continue in the current format but attention will be given to smaller groups and the availability of more equipment.
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