Teamwork focus for Nursing and Physio students

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 18-9-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle

Publication Place



In a new attitude, Notre Dame’s School of Nursing and the Physiotherapy Course have come together to discuss the importance of multidisciplinary teamwork in today’s health care industry.
School of Nursing lecturer, Michael Hall explains, “The objective of this initiative is to provide students with an experiential opportunity of working in a health care team. Teamwork is the emphasis for the combined class which will run for three weeks.

“To start the ball rolling we invited a group of health care workers representing the major areas such as medicine, nursing, physiotherapy and social work to take part in a panel discussion about the importance of teamwork. We invited each panellist to talk about their career development, the scope of their present practice and how teamwork helps or hinders work performance and patient outcomes.”

The student group comprised 110 third year nursing students, 70 physio students and 14 nursing students from the United States who are studying at Notre Dame this semester.

They were all asked to consider the benefits of teamwork, for example, the potential to contribute different perspectives to a problem, delivery of care beyond a single profession and shared knowledge. They were than challenged with providing examples of potential drawbacks for health care professionals.

Nursing student, Louisa Coppens, said it was great to collaborate and work with the physiotherapy students.

“It was really helpful to see health issues that we may come across as nurses being dealt with from a different perspective. We don’t usually talk about collaborating with physiotherapists so the seminar gave us a real insight into how working with them could complement our work,” said Ms Coppens.

Physiotherapy lecturer, Jennifer Persaud said, “Collaborative care between health care professionals is an integral part of delivering optimum care within a patient centred health care model. It makes sense that students should benefit from exposure to the experience of working together at an early stage in their career.”