Health education institutes should provide effective programs to prepare healthcare professionals who can deliver safe and high-quality care in the future. Thus, integration of the health service system and the health education system is required to provide students with the opportunity to translate theory into practice when delivering care to patients and communities (1). One approach that was reported as a promising modality of health care delivery as well as a novel educational approach for bridging the gap between education and clinical practice through experiential learning is home-based care (HBC) (2).
Accordingly, we designed and implemented the HBC team concurrently when the Covid-19 pandemic started. Our medical team was composed of members/learners from different health professions including attending emergency, along with internal, and infectious disease residents, physicians, and nurses. We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and utilize these settings for educational purposes and provide patient-centered care in the community. Thus, four students from medical and nursing, volunteering to participate, were invited to participate in each home visit. Each student team was supervised by internal or infectious disease residents who had previous experience as educators through the supervision of students from their field.
Before the home visit, students received a half-day training by residents to familiarize themselves more with the objective of the experience, as well as detailed information about the patient with Covid-19, and who was responsible for what during the visit. During the home visit, students were responsible for performing history-taking and relevant examinations. After the home visit, students participated in small groups to discuss the case, report team findings, and write reflective essays.
To indicate the view of participants, we performed a semi-structured interview with students, patients, and residents. Most participants were satisfied with their HBC experience. Students reported that HBC was useful for improving performance and providing them with a precise perception of other’s professional roles. Residents were confident in delivering education to develop the student’s abilities to be involved in patient care. Patients felt that the care team was listening to their concerns and they could share their perspectives.
In line with our study, a study in Sweden (2020) also indicated the effect of home visits on 109 learners from six different educational programs who studied together medical including nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and dietician. The students stated that home visits improved their understanding of teamwork and collaboration. In addition, all patients were satisfied with the students’ home visits and felt that they had been listened to. The supervisors pointed out this opportunity can be an appreciated and effective learning activity (3). In another study, Hiroaki Nagano and colleagues showed that using home visits for medical students and resident doctors in Okinawa, Japan could help learners recognize the value of patient-centered care, inter-professional collaboration care, and reconceptualize the meaning of medical practice as well as their professional identity as physicians (4).