Story and photos courtesy of School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo
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. On November 4, the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy hosted the Sixth Interprofessional Case Showcase. Organized by the Interprofessional Educators Collaborative of Waterloo-Wellington (IPEC), the showcase brings together students:
- 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
Students from each institution 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.”
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.
The teams presented and fielded questions from the audience, also taking a moment to share some of the 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.”