Healthcare students learn together to enhance patient care at IPEC showcase

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Collaboration between healthcare professionals is essential for effective patient-focused care, and thus interprofessional education (IPE) is a foundational element of healthcare training throughout the Waterloo-Wellington region.

Students from different schools working together.As part of our commitment to IPE, on the evening of November 4th the School of Pharmacy played host to the Interprofessional Educators Collaborative of Waterloo-Wellington (IPEC) Sixth Interprofessional Case Showcase. Organized by IPEC the showcase brings together students from:

  • Conestoga College Health Programs (Paramedics, Pre-Service Fire, Police Studies, Practical Nursing, OTA/PTA)
  • Laurier University, Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work
  • McMaster University, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine
  • Renison University College , School of Social Work
  • University of Waterloo, School of Optometry and Vision Science
  • University of Waterloo, School of Pharmacy

Social work student presenting to audience.Students from each school volunteered to form two interprofessional teams. Each team was tasked with creating a care plan for a patient case and then presenting that care plan to the audience. IPEC Showcases provide learning opportunities for both team members and audience, but students on teams particularly benefit, as they are tasked with the challenging duty of understanding each other’s role and developing a comprehensive presentation in a limited time frame.

The team dynamics were great,” said team member Tamara Lewis, a Master’s of social work student from Laurier University. “I learned so much from the others and really enjoyed the opportunity to meet them and understand their professional backgrounds.”

Audience watching presentations.While the teams were formulating their care plans, University of Waterloo Associate Dean of Science Marlee Spafford was doing the same with the audience. Audience members were asked to form small groups and discuss the cases to explore potential differential diagnoses and treatment options. 

Seeing the journey that patients take after an incident was eye-opening – there are so many professionals involved at different stages,” said a Pharmacy student, Lily Zhang, who was in the audience.

Pharmacy students addressing audience.The teams presented and fielded questions from the audience, also taking a moment to share lessons learned from their experience co-operating to deliver a care plan.  Both teams described how they developed further respect and appreciation for each other over the course of the evening.  As Director of Interprofessional Education at the School of Pharmacy Elaine Lillie indicates, “the showcase brings these students together and encourages that type of interprofessional collaboration that puts the patient first. And that’s what IPEC is all about.”  

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