April 21, 2022
Wheeling University Health Science Students Benefit from Interprofessional Learning Experience
WHEELING, W.Va., April 21 – Students in Wheeling University’s health science programs spent an afternoon learning how to develop a collaborative treatment plan by working in small interprofessional teams.
During the sixth Interprofessional Education (IPE) event, more than 60 students from the Exercise Science, Nursing and Physical Therapy programs worked in collaboration on the comprehensive management of a paper case. Additionally, faculty from the University’s health science programs, a member of campus Ministry and the Counseling Center, along with a diverse panel of local clinicians including a physician, pharmacist, nurse, EMT, social worker and certified exercise physiologist were on hand to assist the students as they developed an interprofessional plan on how to best treat the patient.
Associate Clinical Professor of Physical Therapy Dr. Krissy Grubler, chair of the IPE planning committee, said, “The IPE event is an intentional learning experience to help prepare students in health professions to collaborate in a team environment for the best patient-centered care and outcomes. Students develop an understanding of the roles and a mutual respect for the different health care professionals, exchange knowledge and experiences, develop critical thinking skills, and learn the importance of effective communication across health care disciplines for the best possible patient outcomes.”
To be work-force ready upon graduation, students need to be able to perform well in interprofessional and multidisciplinary teams, she explained. The IPE experience gives students first-hand training while working with a panel of professionals to guide them in this environment. Competent patient care, Dr. Grubler said, requires practitioners to know how each of the different health professions contributes to the goal of optimizing patient care and health outcomes.
Each of the six interprofessional groups worked through the patient management of the paper case to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. The paper case outlined a 20-year-old female college soccer player who sustained an on-field injury to her right knee and was suspected to also have a concussion. The student-athlete, who has a history of asthma, was unable to bear weight on the lower extremity and was complaining of a headache and dizziness. Another aspect of the case the teams had to address was that Spanish is the player’s first language and her parents, who are in attendance, do not speak English.
Jill Emery, MSN, instructor of Nursing and program director for Wheeling’s BA/BS-BSN program, added, “The goal of interprofessional education is to provide students the opportunity to learn about disciplines other than their own within healthcare. With this knowledge, they can refer patients to the correct discipline when a need arises. We want students to understand it takes a healthcare team to ensure the best quality care for patients.”
Both faculty members said this learning experience allows Wheeling’s students to understand the need for a holistic approach when treating patients – taking into account not only the physical impairment but the mental, social and spiritual aspects of each person’s recovery.
In addition to Grubler and Emery, faculty members who planned and took part in the IPE event included: Dr. Rhonda Haley, clinical Assistant professor of PT and director of Clinical Education, Dr. Melissa Bozovich, assistant professor of Athletic Training, Alice Buchanan, associate professor of Exercise Science and Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, professor of Physical Therapy (Neuroscience & Research).
Other members of the IPE panel were: Shelby Georgetti, MSN, instructor of Nursing at Wheeling; Dr. Tim Knierim, MD; Michelle Lucarelli, adjunct instructor at Wheeling representing social service; Matt Rafa, pharmacist; Rev. Hadi Sasmita, S.J., Wheeling’s Campus Minister; Linda Steele, EMT; Dr. Lance Tarr, certified exercise physiologist; and Tina Tordella, director of the University’s Counseling Center.