Intersectoral Collaboration to Promote Interprofessional Education

Monday, 9 November 2015

Sue Coffey, PhD, RN
Nursing, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada
Hilde Zitzelsberger, BScN, MSc, PhD, RN
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada
Leslie L. M. Graham, RN, BScN, MN
Faculty of Health Sciences/School of Health and Community Services, Durham College-University of Ontario, Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada

Interprofessional education (IPE) is becoming increasingly significant in nursing and health care curricula, now widely recognized as a precursor to patient safety and quality of care mandates across North American and internationally. IPE provides health care students with the opportunity to learn with, from, and about each other to both promote effective collaboration and improve health outcomes (Meakim et al., 2013). Historically, nursing and health care students have typically learned in “professional silos”, a model known to contribute to poor communication skills, teamwork failures, and compromised patient safety (Palaganas, 2014). Although there has been movement toward integrating IPE into curricula, there is as of yet not enough data to draw definitive conclusions about IPEs effectiveness. Nevertheless, there is some indication, albeit limited, that IPE has a positive impact on the interprofessional practice (IPP) agenda (Coffey & Anyinam, 2014). Within the Canadian context, few opportunities exist for students to engage in IPP. This reality results in gaps in student preparation for the real-world practice environment and may negatively impact nursing care and patient outcomes.  This presentation will provide an overview of the early results of an educational initiative that builds upon strong collaborative ties between a university and a community teaching hospital. By teaching about interprofessional practice, in a setting which promotes and supports interprofessional practice, students were invited into both real-world and simulated learning that extended theoretical knowledge into the practice setting. Student perceptions of learning through large-group simulations will be discussed. Lessons learned from the student experience will be shared. Faculty perceptions of barriers and facilitators to large group interprofessional, simulation-based education for nursing and health sciences students will be explored. Finally, discussion of the benefits and challenges of intersectoral collaboration between the post-secondary education and health care sectors to provide opportunities for IPE and IPP will be discussed.