OBJECTIVE: Inter-professional education is a growing area of importance that enables training of health care professionals and students to develop skills in collaborative clinical practice, a critical aspect of disability care. However, research is limited on appropriate on-site inter-professional training for the rural and remote disability workforce. This paper aims to explore the features of an effective inter-professional training approach for rural disability workforce.
SETTING: Riverland, South Australia.
PARTICIPANTS: Clinical educators, allied health professionals, health and service providers and students.
DESIGN: A qualitative-explorative research design, involving focus group discussion and a thematic analysis method were employed in this study. Participants of the focus group discussion completed a capacity building training program centred on inter-professional education, cultural-safety and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. National Disability Services Social Impact Measurement Tool was used to evaluate and explore the features of effective inter-professional training program for existing and emerging disability workforce in rural regions.
RESULTS: Four themes emerged from data analysis: inter-professional education focus; structured inter-professional training; building collaborative learning environment; and culturally appropriate care practice. Inter-professional supervision was identified as a key enabler for capacity building in an area with limited health workforce. Inter-agency collaboration and professional network were identified as important elements to support disability health workforce retention and the transition from novice to practitioner. Prior knowledge about the needs of persons with disability and empathetic relationships influenced the quality of practice.
CONCLUSION: In situ training programs, which provide real-life rural practice context and harness inter-agency collaboration, improve effectiveness of rural disability workforce readiness for practice.