Interprofessional Education: Fostering Collaboration, Communication, and Patient-centered Care
Proper patient care involves the work of various types of medical professionals. A team of healthcare professionals will include physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, caregivers, lab technicians, and many more so it is crucial that proper communication and teamwork be central themes among these various professionals.
This project is centered around an interprofessional education (IPE) session, during which senior nursing students teach first-year medical students how to administer an intramuscular vaccine. It is meant to provide students from both professions the opportunity to educate, collaborate, and build the communication skills necessary in successful patient-centered care.
128 first-year medical students and 27 senior nursing students worked in small groups to learn how to administer intramuscular influenza vaccinations. After practicing their technique on oranges, medical students gave the vaccine to each other under the guidance of the nursing students.
Students also worked in small groups to complete a team building activity. Groups were assigned a specific patient population and setting. They created an advertisement flyer about an influenza virus educational clinic and vaccine administration clinic to their population. Flyers were then shared in a debrief session.
A retrospective survey was administered to the medical students after the session was completed. Overall, medical students were satisfied with the IPE session. The survey administered to medical students showed that there was a significant improvement in the understanding of all session objectives after the session was completed, reflecting that all five session objectives were met. Medical students enjoyed the hands-on experience of learning the skill of intramuscular injection administration. They particularly valued being taught by their nursing student peers who shared their knowledge and offered guidance during the vaccine administration.
Early and effective IPE sessions allow students to foster the vital skills necessary to build a proficient patient-centered care team. IPE sessions provide students with the opportunity to gain confidence in their communication skills with other healthcare professional students. This study provides us with the opportunity to examine effective ways to conduct IPE sessions, and how best to convey critical IPE core competencies during these sessions.