More than 500 students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s four health sciences schools — dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy — gathered across the health sciences campus on Feb. 19 to gain a better understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities as health care providers. The day marked the beginning of the third year of a campus-wide interprofessional education program.
Health professions programs across the country have accreditation standards to provide activities for students to learn with, from and about one another so that they are practice ready to provide safe, team-based care. School of Medicine Associate Dean for Curriculum Stefanie Ellison, M.D., one of the event coordinators, said the interprofessional education program at UMKC has achieved those standards with its series of activities spread throughout yearly activities within each professional program.
“All of these programs have their own accreditation requirements for interprofessional education,” Ellison said. “With our curriculum, we believe we’re now meeting all of those requirements.”
The afternoon-long activity focused the students’ attention on how to provide patient care in a safe manner.
Students from the School of Medicine’s anesthesiologist assistant and physician assistant programs participated in the program along with third-year students in the M.D. program. Students from all of the health sciences programs were divided into groups of 10 to participate in the first of this year’s three collaborative learning activities. A second group activity is planned for next September with a focus on ethics and values. The third group session focusing on interprofessional communication and teams and teamwork will follow in October or November.
The IPE activities occur annually so that all health professions students in ten programs will gain skills and attitudes in interprofessional practice as they contribute in all three events before obtaining their professional degrees.
Ellison said IPE coordinators at UMKC’s heath sciences schools are also working on events such as service learning projects and other activities that can be embedded into each school’s curriculum to create an on-going practice of interprofessional collaborative learning.