It takes a community to make a healthcare professional
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
– Michael Jordan
This week is the wrap-up to a great interprofessional (IPE) learning program in the Faculty of Health Sciences: the Collaboration in Action project (CIA). Since 2011, the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice (OIPEP) has offered CIA, which takes students into the community to partner with health care mentors – individuals in the community who are affected by multiple health challenges, to learn about and experience collaborative teamwork. This is a big effort involving 270 students (all second-year Nursing, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy students), 61 community mentors with chronic health challenges and 32 faculty/clinician/community member judges.
The CIA project helps to ensure that our students enter their health care practices well trained in the six interprofessional competencies documented in A National Interprofessional Competency Framework (CIHC, 2010)[i]:
- interprofessional communication
- patient/client/family /community-centred care
- role clarification
- team functioning
- collaborative leadership
- interprofessional conflict resolution
The CIA project is just one of nearly a dozen programs from OIPEP, under the leadership of Director, Dr. Rosemary Brander and a big “community” of faculty and community/patient representatives, staff and students. Below is a simplified diagram showing the progression of IPE learning that students from all three schools (Medicine, Nursing and Rehabilitation Therapy) receive as part of their education at Queen’s
Imbuing our future healthcare professionals with interprofessional competencies is a priority, one with global relevance. It has been identified via the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education[i] & Collaborative Practice. I think the following paragraph from the 2010 report by The Commission on Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century, states this quite well:
For interprofessional education, health needs teamwork, and this necessity has grown in importance because of the transformation of health systems. The emergence of non-communicable diseases, for which patient care becomes a series of transitions from home to hospital to rehabilitation facilities and back to home again, necessarily engages a host of multidisciplinary professionals—social workers, nurses, therapists, doctors, counsellors, etc—who must work together to provide a seamless web of health services.
— HEALTH PROFESSIONALS FOR A NEW CENTURY:
Transforming education to strengthen
health systems in an interdependent world
(The Lancet, Dec 2010)[ii]
If you have any thoughts on the importance of IPE, please comment on this post, or better yet, drop by my office at the Macklem House…my door is always open.
P.S. My thanks to Peter Aitken, our communications officer, for his help with preparing this post.