Preparing Future Healthcare Professionals for Interprofessional Practice Using a Unique Course Design: Values and Ethics in Healthcare
Data conf that high functioning, interprofessional teams improve health outcomes (Interprofessional Education Collaborative, 2016). However, academic health institutions traditionally provide education uniprofessionally where students from a single profession learn together in parallel or interactively (Freeth, et al 2008). Therefore, academic health institutions must provide an interprofessional education (IPE). However, executing interprofessional learning experiences across colleges with differing curricula, accreditation requirements, and academic calendars remains a challenge. In mid-2020, faculty at the TAMU Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and the School of Public Health, with the support from the TAMU Health Office of Interprofessional Education, collaboratively developed interprofessional content that would be embedded within existing courses in participating colleges. The aim of this pilot was to foster student leadership and interprofessional team building/collaboration using case-based and problem-based learning to address real-world ethical, social, and moral conflicts in healthcare. This is how the planning committee of this course “reimagined” teaching. The course was launched Spring 2021.
No faculty didactics were included; students were encouraged to self-direct their learning and organization. All content was delivered online via Zoom.
To foster student leadership, students were instructed to self-elect one student team leader per case to serve as the liaison for the team’s faculty. At the end of each case (3-week block) each student team drafted and submitted their proposed solutions/answers to their assigned faculty facilitator. Students were encouraged to cite literature references in support of their conclusions. At the completion of each case, evaluations would be performed to gauge team competencies.
178 students participated: 16 from Medicine, 50 from Nursing, and 112 from Pharmacy. Twenty-two faculty facilitated the team-based sessions: 8 from Medicine, 5 from Nursing, 8 from Pharmacy, and 1 from the School of Public Health. Preliminary feedback from faculty indicated students viewed the activity as positive.
Successful collaboration across 4 professional colleges (Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health) at Texas A&M University Health Science Center resulted in the launch of an innovative, online course enabling students to use Interprofessional problem solving skills and team building, tackling real world clinical/ethical/social/moral dilemmas in healthcare.
Implications to consider when implementing this course across multiple professional colleges for large-scale student attendance is availability of faculty facilitators. Faculty should be aware of their role as moderators/facilitators rather than didactic providers.