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The use of illustrations to explore social work students’ perceptions of interprofessional teams
Social Work Education  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-11-15, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2021.1998429
Aidyn L. Iachini, Tasha M. Childs, Melissa C. Reitmeier, Teri A. Browne, L. Bailey King


Social workers often practice within interprofessional teams, yet few research studies have examined social work students’ perceptions of their role on these teams using a visual methodology such as illustrations and illustration descriptions. This qualitative study aimed to understand 1) What are social work students’ perceptions of their role on interprofessional teams? 2) What are social work students’ perceptions of the different members involved in interprofessional teams? 3) What are social work students’ perceptions of how interprofessional team members work together? Analysis of the illustrations and illustration descriptions from twenty-six advanced year MSW students from one southeastern university in the United States suggests that many perceived their role as considering the client/family in decision making. In terms of team membership, half of the students depicted clients being involved, and most drew other professionals with a focus on health-related professionals. Students also drew a range of ways team members work together, such as in meetings at tables or in client rooms or talking to each other. Findings from this study have implications for social work education, particularly in relation to interprofessional collaboration, leadership, understanding students’ mental models of interprofessional teams, and client-centered care.