Health Sciences students gather in team learning environment

Students from the UMKC Health Sciences Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Health Studies and Pharmacy gathered in the School of Medicine's Theater C and other classroooms across the Hospital Hill Campus on Feb. 21 for an afternoon of interprofessional education classes.
Students from the UMKC Health Sciences Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Health Studies and Pharmacy gathered in the School of Medicine’s Theater C and other classrooms across the Hospital Hill Campus on Feb. 21 for an afternoon of interprofessional education study.

Providing quality patient care in today’s world is becoming a team effort. Health care educators are taking a team approach to teaching it as well.

More than 560 students from the UMKC Health Sciences Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Health Studies and Pharmacy participated in an afternoon of interprofessional education on Friday, Feb. 21, with synchronized classes in classrooms throughout the Hospital Hill Campus. Classes included teleconferencing with UMKC School of Pharmacy students on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo.

During the classes, pre-assigned groups of students from seven disciplines — dentistry, dental hygiene, medicine, physician assistant, nursing, graduate nursing, and pharmacy —  learned about patient safety and worked together to solve problems in small and large groups.

Stefanie Ellison, M.D., assistant dean for curriculum at the School of Medicine, is one of the curriculum organizers.

“This won’t be just a one-day event,” Ellison said. “This will create a strong foundation for interprofessional education and collaboration at UMKC.”

Interprofessional education involves students from two or more disciplines learning together, with the charge of cultivating collaborative practice to provide patient-centered care.

“While interprofessional education is required by a number of accrediting boards, large scale instructional activities are rare, making this instructional activity unique,” said another of the curricular organizers, Linda Garavalia, professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Pharmacy. “UMKC has been awarded interprofessional education grants for clinical experience but that involves a smaller number of students. This will add interprofessional education to classroom learning for a large number of students.”

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