Development of Large Biannual Interprofessional Student Training Seminars in a Rural State
Background: Over the past several years at the University of Montana, momentum has been building through small scale IPE efforts such as electives, SIMS events and targeted training sessions. In 2018, faculty began to strategize ways to create quality IPE training for a larger number of students. The University of Montana College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences partnered with Montana State University College of Nursing and Montana Geriatric Education Center to develop 3 large IPE seminars.
Design: In the fall of 2018, the faculty began planning a 3-hour pilot seminar for the spring which focused on IP collaborative practice and geriatric care. Faculty from Pharmacy, Nursing, Social Work, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Physical Therapy, and Public Health were involved in the planning process. Funding and administrative support was provided through the Montana Geriatric Education Center. Planning involved the development the agenda, content and assessment methods.
Results: For the first event, held in April 2018, there were 123 learners from 7 different disciplines and 12 faculty facilitators. Feedback from students was highly positive and provided guidance for planning future events. In the fall 2018, a second event was hosted for students newly entering our training programs. There were 218 learners from 8 disciplines and 30 facilitators. Student feedback overall was very positive. The second annual spring event, in April 2019, there were 191 learners representing 8 disciplines and 30 facilitators. A new aspect was to utilize web-based conferencing for a small off-site student cohort.
Conclusion: Large biannual IPE seminars have been a successful and sustainable approach to host training sessions for large numbers of healthcare professional students in a rural state. Through this partnership, the healthcare programs have been able to meet accreditation needs and provide valuable IPE training experiences for their students.
Reflections: As with many IPE activities, finding a common time for all programs to participate has been a challenge. Utilization of IPEC core competencies assists with development of educational goals and outcomes. Thoughtful design of activities and creation of an inclusive learning environment are keys to success.