The interprofessional work taking place at Samford University’s College of Health Sciences reflects today’s team-based approach to health care. Students not only strengthen their knowledge and skills through the experiential work taking place in their schools, but as a part of the college, they have opportunities to work side-by-side with peers in other disciplines.
The College of Health Sciences works to instill the importance of interprofessional education, or IPE, from the very beginning, and they achieve this through opportunities like its annual College of Health Sciences Interprofessional Education event, which took place recently.
More than 250 graduate students participated, representing the college’s four schools: School of Health Professions, Ida Moffett School of Nursing, McWhorter School of Pharmacy and School of Public Health.
“We created this event with the purpose of starting all first-year graduate students on an understanding of interprofessional education, knowing that they will progress through their respected programs together,” said Michael Kendrach, professor and associate dean for academic affairs in the McWhorter School of Pharmacy.
Through large and small group sessions, faculty taught students the four basic pillars of interprofessional collaboration: communication, teamwork, ethics and values, and roles and responsibilities.
But ultimately, the goal of the event was to have students learn from one another. “In our small group sessions, we encouraged students to talk each other, asking questions about what they do and how they handle situations,” said Andrea Collins, associate professor in the Ida Moffett School of Nursing.
For to be successful collaboratively, it’s important that students understand the roles each discipline can play.
“We find that our incoming students have varying levels of interprofessional experience. For example, many graduate nursing students have worked in hospitals, so they understand it well. While other students may have no practice experience at all,” Kendrach said. “This is why this event is important. Our students have so much that they can learn from each other.”
Along with Collins and Kendrach, the event was organized by additional faculty, including Melissa Lumpkin with the School of Public Health, and Margaret Johnson, Matt Ford and Robert Hensarling with the School of Health Professions.