Interprofessional Education (IPE) Day, March 9, includes Renison SSW students

Thursday, April 2, 2020

IPE Day assembly at alumni hall, Western University. Photo Credit - Max Martin, Communications Coordinator, WesternStudents from Renison's School of Social Work participated in this year's Interpersonal Education (IPE) day on March 9, 2020. This was the fifth year that the Southwestern Academic Health Network brought together healthcare learners for a collaborative learning experience. Held at Western University in London, over 800 students from a variety of healthcare specialties participated, along with 80 facilitators. In addition to those studying Social Work, students from Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Nutrition, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Pharmacy, and Physical Therapy were in attendance.  

Sarah Bryson, currently completing her Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) at Renison, was one of the attendees. The event, she says, is unique because it asks future healthcare workers to look at healthcare in a holistic way. Healthcare professionals, she explains, are often educated in silos, but this kind of event allows everyone to gain a better understanding of other fields of practice, identify where there may be gaps in care, and work toward filling them.

The event began with a panel of professionals, who presented a fictional case that was then discussed among smaller groups of about 10. Each breakout group had representatives from multiple fields, and they were tasked with developing a plan for the care of the person in the case study. As students started to identify how they (or their field) would approach care, the other members began to do the same and fill in a care plan for the fictional patient. The result? According to Bryson, it became clear how many hands are involved in creating a healthcare system that is effective in treating both physical and mental health.

“It was great to share what social work professionals can contribute to patient care,” say Bryson. “Having more professionals be aware of what social works do can help eliminate stigma and dispel the idea that mental health and physical health should be treated separately. This kind of knowledge sharing can also help each of us look at the care of patients in a different way.”

Photo credit: Max Martin, Communications Coordinator, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry 

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