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Operating department practitioners and adult nurses: interprofessional education bedfellows or a bridge too far?


Background Interprofessional education (IPE) is well embedded in undergraduate health curricula. However, scant literature exists on which health and care disciplines, such as adult nurses and operating department practitioners (ODPs), prefer to work within simulated learning events.

Methods This study took place over a number of simulated interprofessional events, with a range of health and care disciplines students, using a variety of simulation tools. The total number of participants was: adult nurses 16 and ODPs 18.

Results An ordinal logistic regression analysis was carried out on survey data collected. The OR of ODPs choosing adult nurses as the discipline they would prefer to work with at these events was 1.994 (95% CI 1.034 to 3.334) times that of adult nurses choosing ODPs as the discipline they would prefer to work with at these events, a statistically significant effect.

Conclusions It is clear that a statistical difference in preferential choice exists, with ODPs choosing to work with adult nurses almost twice that of adult nurses choosing to work with ODPs. This supports the importance of IPE and the understanding of other professions, to improve team working across health and care organisations.

  • interprofessional education
  • operating department practitioner
  • collaboration
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