Cutting Edge Interprofessional Education

Dec 3, 2012

Last Friday I had the opportunity to spend time with several students, clinical faculty members, and preceptors at the Mass General on Ellison 8.  There, each week, an interprofessional group (Nursing, DPT, CSD) students spend time together caring for patients, learning about the work of each of our disciplines, experiencing day long observation of the top notch professional acute care at the MGH, and then spending an hour together reflecting on what the significant learnings were that occurred on that day.

I was able to see a bit of the action that occurred on the floor,but spent more time in the debriefing session at the end of the day.   One of the first observations that I made was that it was difficult to tell what discipline students represented.  They were so sophisticated about the patients that they presented that each one knew the clinical, social, functional, and practical concerns for each patient.   The speech-language pathology students discussed the patient's physical concerns, the physical therapy students were able to talk a lot about communication and swallowing, and the nursing students were remarkably knowledgeable about the patient's functional and social situations.   Each student was highly engaged in the discussion and expressed great concern about the needs of the patients from a health perspective, but also from the perspective of future needs, affordability of care, and family needs.  

Having had the chance to observe this highly innovative educational pilot was a gift for me.  We are so fortunate to be in a setting where these types of activities are embraced and where our Mass General colleagues are so willing to go the extra mile to make this experience successful and outcomes driven.  We need to continue to find opportunities to develop patient centric teaching and learning situations for all our students!   These opportunities will be transformative in the future of health care!


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