BUIES CREEK -- More than 300 first-year health sciences students at Campbell University received a head start on teamwork as they embarked on the university’s first interprofessional education (IPE) seminar on Wednesday, Aug. 14.
IPE is a growing training model at universities across the nation developed to prepare students for the emerging patient centered medical homes where health care professionals work in teams on complex issues to provide better outcomes for patients.
At Campbell, students in the osteopathic medicine, physician assistant, pharmacy and public health programs will take part in the developing IPE module. Throughout their education, they will learn with, from and about each other’s professions to develop a collaborative mindset in hopes of improving patient care.
“IPE is critical in addressing some of the key challenges currently facing the health care sector, including the escalating demand for services and workforce shortages,” said Dr. Ronald Maddox, vice president of health programs at Campbell.
Assistant Dean of Interprofessional Education Michael Adams said the new program recognizes the need to change the way health professionals are educated in order to meet changes in health care. He noted the recent expansion of health degree programs at Campbell helps the IPE model capitalize on this type of training.
During the first IPE session, students from different health disciplines worked in small groups to discuss professional development topics including the dos and don’ts of social media. The program ended with a panel discussion on challenges in rural health led by Harnett County Health Director John Rouse, Harnett Health System’s President and CEO Ken Bryan and the Medical Director at Benson Area Medical Center Eugene Maynard.
“Our main goal for the activity was to create an environment that encouraged active communication between our students,” Adams said. “We also wanted to get them thinking about the context of rural practice since it’s a similar focus for our health sciences programs.”
Following the introductory seminar, Adams plans to incorporate more interactive activities into the IPE module including interdisciplinary case studies and having students work together with standardized patients.
Campbell’s developing IPE program aims to ensure students understand their profession is not an isolated area of knowledge and skills, but that they have an important role to play as part of a healthcare team to ensure the delivery of safe and quality patient care.
Medicine, physician assistant, pharmacy and public health students will be key players in the program with plans to bring on students from physical therapy and nursing if the developing programs are approved through accreditation. Down the road there are possibilities to include students from other programs at Campbell like social work, exercise science and divinity.
-- Article and photo by Leah Whitt, College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences