Using an Interdisciplinary Falls Assessment Clinic to develop collaborative team skills among medical and health professions students.
Hewston, Leigh Ann
Arenson, Christine A.
KeywordsMedicine and Health Sciences
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AbstractIn new practice models, such as the Chronic Care Model, there is an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration; however health profession students have little or no opportunity to practice together during their educational training. Students need learning experiences in which they work collaboratively with groups in other disciplines to solve healthcare problems. The Eastern Pennsylvania-Delaware Geriatric Education Center (EPaD GEC) has developed an Interdisciplinary Falls Assessment Clinic which uses evidence based standard of care practice to evaluate and manage older adults who have fallen or at risk for falling. Older adults are at increased risk for falls and fall-related injuries, leading to loss of independence, disability, and increased mortality. The interdisciplinary clinic provides a clinical educational opportunity for students in medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and social work to train and work together as an interdisciplinary team. The objective is for health care profession students to be able to identify roles and responsibilities of professionals on the health care team and practice communication and collaboration skills in a interprofessional care team. The Falls Assessment Clinic also provides an educational venue to increase the knowledge of students in medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, social work, and nursing regarding prevention and management of falls in the elderly. This session will focus on the educational impact of an Interdisciplinary Falls Assessment clinic to enhance interprofessional learning in geriatrics for health profession students. Based on the evaluation data, the interdisciplinary clinic facilitated the students’ recognition of the important roles each profession play in caring for a patient in a health care team. The experience of working in a team was reported as very rewarding and beneficial in increasing the students’ knowledge of teamwork in a clinical scenario. Students reported enjoying the team meeting experience and regarded this as a valuable part of their education. Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will: 1. Discuss common barriers and challenges to incorporating learners from different disciplines 2. Discuss strategies and methods to assess competency and evaluate learners from different disciplines in different stages of learning 3. Identify a strategy to develop and implement an interdisciplinary clinic at their home institution.