Pediatric Oral Health Interprofessional Clerkship

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Judith Haber, PhD
College of Nursing, New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, New York, NY, USA
Erin Hartnett, DNP
New York University College of Nursing, New York, NY, USA


The goal of the NYU College of Nursing Teaching Oral-Systemic Health (TOSH) Program Pediatric Oral
Health Interprofessional Clerkship is to promote acquisition of the Core Competencies for Interprofessional
Collaborative Practice (IPEC, 2011) and the Interprofessional Oral Health Core Clinical Competencies (HRSA,
2014) among future primary care providers by engaging family nurse practitioner (FNP), dental (DDS), and medical
(MD) students in an interprofessional oral-systemic health clinical experience. The objectives of the clerkship are for
students to (1) apply pediatric oral health assessment (health history, exam, risk assessment, prevention, education
and referral), (2) identify the pediatric oral-systemic connection, and (3) practice a team-based approach to improve
oral-systemic health outcomes.


During this interprofessional education experience at Bellevue Pediatric Dental Clinic, teams of NYU
FNP, DDS, and MD students, work together with a pediatric dental resident. Team members collaborate in
reviewing the patient chart, taking the patient’s medical and dental history, performing an oral assessment, applying
fluoride varnish, and providing education and anticipatory guidance. The pediatric dental resident then conducts a
debriefing session where the team discusses the importance of interprofessional teamwork and communication
skills in providing patient-centered care. The Interprofessional Collaborative Competencies Attainment Survey
(ICCAS) was selected to evaluate the degree to which students, using a pre-test/post-test approach, report a
change in attitude about IP competencies following the IP learning experiences.


All students had an improved mean score from pre-test to post-test after the experience, and these changes were statistically significant for the FNP students (p<0.01) and the medical students (p<0.05). The mean change was not significant for the dental students, the smallest group of students. The mean change from pre-test to post-test for each of the six IP competency domains was statistically significant (p<0.01).


The experience was similarly effective among FNP and medical students in increasing the students’ attitudes towards IP collaboration; however, it was less possible to detect differences in pre-test to post-test scores that are not due to chance among the dental students because the number of these students was small. As this IPE experience will be an ongoing component of the NYU nurse practitioner, medical, and dental curricula, the sample size will increase making it more likely to detect an effect that is not due to chance in the dental student sample. Ultimately, the findings suggest that a clinical approach is an effective strategy for influencing the development of IP competencies.