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Team-based health education to expand at Campbell

Campbell University’s health science students will soon have the opportunity to train alongside each other in the classroom and during clinical rotations.

A pilot project for the new Interprofessional Education Program was held at the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences last week. Over fifty pharmacy, physician assistant and public health students worked together in teams to interview a standardized patient, identify the diagnosis and create a treatment plan.

“We’re taking advantage of the growing health programs on campus,” said Michael Adams, PharmD, PhD, assistant dean of graduate and interprofessional education at the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. “We now have key players in the health care team to develop a collaborative training approach.”

The simulated scenario was focused more on encouraging students to actively work together and communicate with each other than finding the correct answer.

“This communication educates students about the roles of the other professions and helps them understand how to collaborate in order to improve patient outcomes,” Adams said.

The pilot was a trial run to evaluate what information needs to be developed into the new IPE curriculum.  Adams and the IPE committee envision a three-step training process for the program. The introductory piece will expose students to the roles and responsibilities of other health disciplines early in their education. The second phase will allow students to actively work in collaborative teams, similar to the pilot. During the final stage, students will apply their knowledge with real patients and medical teams on clinical rotations.

The IPE program will run continuously through pharmacy and PA, as well as the osteopathic medicine and physical therapy programs which are both projected to start within the next academic year. The master’s program in public health is also playing a role in IPE. Adams has future plans to include other disciplines at Campbell as the program develops.

“The IPE program will be a multi-faceted training process,” Adams said. “It will help us teach students how to work in teams to improve patient care while they are in school, in the hope that they will carry that over to their future practice.”

The pilot was the first of many team-based training opportunities the College plans to offer. Additional interprofessional activities are scheduled later this semester, with plans to further implement components of the program over the next two years.

Photo: First-year pharmacy student Lyn Olsen speaks with the standardized patient during the pilot for the new Interprofessional Education Program at Campbell.