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Students learning to work together to impact patient care and patient safety

At The University of Toledo, interprofessional education is a required part of the health sciences curricula.

This 14-week program has been designed to provide a variety of interprofessional learning activities and educational experiences that include clinical skills training, clinical cases, and patient simulations. Students are assigned to interprofessional teams and have the opportunity to collaborate with peers from other health-care professions using an experiential, case-based learning approach to patient care.

Students in the UT Interprofessional Approach to Patient Care Program attended a kickoff event at the start of fall semester in the Student Union Auditorium.

Students in the UT Interprofessional Approach to Patient Care Program attended a kickoff event at the start of fall semester in the Student Union Auditorium.

This semester, the UT Interprofessional Approach to Patient Care Program has 579 students who are divided into 48 smaller groups.

The goal is for students to begin to feel comfortable working in a team environment and to learn how to communicate effectively.

“Interprofessional education has gained much visibility due to accreditation requirements, but the more critical impetus is recognition that effective interprofessional teams can improve patient care and patient safety and help avoid medical errors,” said Carol Hasbrouck, director of the School for Interprofessional Education and assistant professor in the Department of Medicine. “As consumers, we really want health-care team communications to be very strong and built on mutual respect among the team members.”

She added, “We have a list of objectives for all the students. The primary ones are to help students recognize the impact and importance of the health-care team on patient safety and care, to understand and respect the roles and responsibilities of health professions besides their own, and to demonstrate the ability to listen actively and encourage ideas and opinions of other team members.”

The program was designed around the recommendations and objectives of the World Health Organization and the Interprofessional Education Collaborative.