Introduction to Interprofessional Education made some big updates this fall — here’s how students reacted

After incorporating updates that would provide a stronger introduction to Interprofessional Education (IPE), students are sharing their takeaways from this foundational IPE activity.

In fall 2023, the Center for Interprofessional Education’s (C-IPE) Core Curriculum workgroup made significant updates to the foundational IPE activity, Introduction to Interprofessional Education.

This module provides a consistent and comprehensive foundational understanding of IPE for all health science students. This allows subsequent IPE offerings to dive deeper into content right away without spending additional time and space leveling student understanding.

After the activity concluded on October 8, 2023, students were asked for their feedback on the experience. This data will be utilized by C-IPE’s Core Curriculum workgroup and Curriculum Committee to identify what was successful and what opportunities lie ahead.

“While we are still diving into the data of learning outcomes, we’ve witnessed early positive responses from both faculty and students. The new module has ignited a remarkable enthusiasm among students,” shared Hannah Edwards, curriculum administrative specialist for the Center for IPE. “Students are not only recognizing the importance of IPE, but are also gaining valuable insights into how they will work in an interprofessional collaborative care capacity in the future.”

Here are some reactions to Introduction to IPE from students who participated in fall 2023:

“After completing this Introduction to Interprofessional Education module, I have become more motivated and eager to function in an interprofessional collaborative care capacity as a pharmacist in the future. Pharmacy is one of the very few professions that has active participation in a variety of settings — hospitals, academia, insurance companies in managed care, biotechnology companies and so much more. Because of how prevalent pharmacists are in different health care settings, it will be essential that I, in understanding my role as a pharmacist and desiring to provide relationship-centered care, can work alongside others to accomplish team goals.”

“I feel that I learned a lot from this IPE experience. Before, I always viewed my patients’ situations from the perspective of a dental hygienist, and ONLY a dental hygienist. Now, I know that it is extremely important to take a more holistic approach and view the situation from many different professional perspectives, such as from a social worker’s or nurse’s perspective. In the future, as I begin working in an interprofessional team, I now know that each role in the team is extremely important to the patient’s overall health.”

“As a respiratory therapist, completing the Intro to Interprofessional Education (IPE) experience has given me some insights into the collaborative nature of health care and how I already function as an interprofessional collaborating with others in health care. One of the key takeaways from the IPE experience is the importance of effective communication and teamwork in providing patient care. Health care isn’t provided by one single provider or one specific specialty. The need for effective communication is relevant in all aspects of our job. “

“I am so glad that we are being taught the concepts of IPE. Working in the field of social work, I believe there are so many opportunities for other professions to intersect and collaboration will be the best way to fully support the clients we are serving. I think that so many other professions can bring valuable insight that will broaden perspectives and allow us to strengthen the care that is being provided.”

“As a future physician, the lessons learned in these modules are vital to providing the best care possible. I envision that these skills will play a role in nearly every interaction that lies ahead. I feel that learning my conflict resolution and leadership styles allowed me to better understand myself and how I interact in a team environment capacity.  In order to ensure that I and my colleagues don’t remain in our individual silos of expertise, interprofessional collaboration will be a focus of mine to ensure that the patient’s and families that we will care for will have the most holistic care that is easily and readily available. In these teams where we are working to create the best plan for patients, similar to the videos we saw in class, it will be crucial to emulate qualities of good leadership and teamwork. I also find that working in this capacity can lead to further learning for us as professionals as we are exposed to ways of thinking and skill sets that may go beyond our usual tool belt. Not only will these skills benefit working across professions in health care, but can be used in working with our patients and their families. It is vital to elicit their goals, concerns and thoughts to provide personalized, empathetic and excellent care.”

Additional reactions from faculty members:

“The students were very positive concerning the experience.”

“This module has truly made a difference in their thinking, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and specific teamwork skills, as well as the significance of team-based care in the patient experience.”

Introduction to IPE is offered during fall, winter and spring/summer semesters. The content is appropriate for students across the health science schools and is ideal for learners early in their programs.