Starting in their first semester, students enroll in three one-credit interprofessional courses that are integrated into their programs of study. Working in interprofessional teams and guided by expert faculty, students learn foundational collaborative skills to enhance safe, quality, and equitable care.
Through a variety of experiential learning activities designed to promote team-based analysis, problem-solving, and solution-oriented thinking, students develop foundational knowledge of the core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice. These include:
- Effective communication
- Team-based care
- Roles and responsibilities
- Values and ethics
Also embedded in this course is Community IMPACT Day, where students, faculty, and staff, regardless of role, rank, or discipline work together in teams to support identified needs of community agencies and partner sites.
With an emphasis on quality and safety, student teams build on the foundational knowledge established in IMPACT I and develop their skills through a series of interprofessional opportunities to support application to practice. These include:
- Team-based simulations
- Case-based discussions
- Engagement with community health mentors
Values and ethics are core components of interprofessional collaborative practice. Led by a group of faculty clinicians with ethics expertise, IMPACT III helps students dive more deeply into this important area of clinical practice and learn the skills necessary to ensure patients receive equitable, client-centered care. Skills addressed include:
- Practical, solution-oriented approach to ethical dimensions of practice
- Ethical decision-making models
Community IMPACT Day
The MGH Institute has always played an active role in helping those in our local and global communities, and at the beginning of every academic year, our commitment to serve is reflected in a traditional day of service. This important annual event, affectionately known as Community IMPACT Day, is embedded into the IMPACT I course curriculum, and enables students, faculty, and staff, regardless of role, rank, or discipline to work together in teams and support the identified needs of community agencies and partner sites. Past service projects include:
- Creating educational sessions or resources for seniors in the community, such as fall prevention tips and stress management strategies.
- Community enrichment for local organizations, such as The Appalachian Mountain Club and Charlestown Community Center.
- Addressing the physical and emotional needs of families and children through volunteer organizations, such as Cradles to Crayons, Project Linus, and The Ronald MacDonald House.
- Conducting leisure and wellbeing activities with local children at Harvard Kent Elementary School and the Kennedy Center.
As future health care professionals, learning how to communicate with others and work effectively as a member of an interprofessional teams is essential for safe, quality, client-centered care. Simulations are important active learning experiences threaded throughout the IMPACT curriculum and provide students with opportunities to work with simulated participants (actors) in team-based clinical scenarios so they may practice core interprofessional competencies in a safe and supportive environment.
IMPACT II concludes with an opportunity for students to work directly with clients from the community living with chronic health conditions and/or functional limitations. These individuals, known to the IHP as health mentors, have generously agreed to share their homes and stories with students in order to support learning. Health mentors help students to:
- Value the perspective of the health mentor and understand that our clients are central to the interprofessional team.
- Appreciate how a person’s health conditions and limitations interact with personal and environmental factors.
- Learn perspective-taking and to value the contribution of every member of the interprofessional team.
IMPACT Peer Facilitators
Peer Facilitators are students who have graduated from IMPACT I and II and have been selected from a pool of applicants to support interprofessional students and faculty in IMPACT II. Peer Facilitators are representative of the IHP programs and have articulated or demonstrated a specific interest in interprofessional collaborative education and practice. This unique paid opportunity enables students to learn invaluable leadership skills for practice, including the ability to:
- Facilitate small group sessions
- Mediate group dynamics
- Foster diplomacy and collaboration