Students’ experiences of interprofessional supervision: shared characteristics of the caring professions

Document Type


Publication details

Grace, S & Morgan, A 2015, 'Students’ experiences of interprofessional supervision: shared characteristics of the caring professions', Journal of Integrative Medicine & Therapy, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-4.

Article available on Open Access


The literature on interprofessional supervision suggests that it is possible to supervise some skills but not discipline specific ones. As a result, students’ scopes of practice are often limited when supervisors do not have the necessary expertise to supervise them, and such interprofessional placements may be regarded as less than optimal learning environments. The aim of this study was to evaluate students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of an interprofessional placement for developing their practice capabilities. This paper presents a case study of an interprofessional placement in Australia where complementary medicine students were supervised by nurses and allied health practitioners in mainstream health facilities. Twenty-one students recorded their experiences of this placement in reflective journals. These journals were thematically analysed using an iterative process of constant comparison. Key themes that emerged from students’ reflections on their interprofessional placement suggested that students were developing four core practice capabilities: person-centered care, effective communication, multidisciplinary care, and professionalism. Rather than being a poor substitute for a placement where students are supervised by practitioners from their own profession, this placement was valuable in its own right through its capacity to demonstrate the many practice capabilities that professions have in common. lnterprofessional placements could influence shaping students’ identity, either as a member of a multidisciplinary team or as an outsider.

Find in your library