Experiential learning was in its finest form at the Interprofessional Education Case Competition April 14.
Health care professionals from seven disciplines – medicine, nursing, pharmacy, mental health counseling, physical therapy, dietetics and respiratory therapy – joined students and faculty from UD, Wright State, Sinclair and Cedarville at Cedarville University. This year was UD’s first time taking part in the event.
Jayne Brahler, associate professor in the School of Education and Health Sciences at UD, was impressed by the way the students were able to learn from one another.
“It makes you feel good knowing that these types of students are devoting themselves to becoming the next generation of health care providers,” Brahler said.
The competition was focused on fostering interprofessionalism across four competency domains: values and ethics, roles and responsibilities, interprofessional communications and teamwork.
Students were divided into 13 teams, given a medical case report and required to provide a patient diagnosis and acute and long-term treatment plans. They presented to a panel of professionals after only 90 minutes of collaboration.
“To be able to bring together a comprehensive management and education plan and present it as a team to the panel of faculty judges, they exceeded our expectations so far,” Brahler said.
When it comes to health care, Brahler believes there are two primary forces driving professional education, those being better patient care and accreditation standards within individual disciplines.
“Students in health care professions oftentimes collaborate only with individuals of their own profession during the didactic phase of their programs, until they get into the clinical or hospital setting. If they practice collaborating with students from other professions while they are in school, they will function more fluently as interprofessional practitioners,” she said.
That is precisely what the case competition was designed to do. After three months of meetings, logistical planning and medical case revisions, the hard work paid off.
“It was amazing watching it unfold all day. The students just glowed,” Brahler said.
Since last year, the event has doubled in size, with 150 students attending this year and up to seven medical disciplines represented.
And the professors intend for it to keep growing, having already identified eight more disciplines they hope to have represented the next year.