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Columbia College of Nursing collaborates with Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) School of Pharmacy and School of Medicine for an Interprofessional Education (IPE) session

In April, 31 third-year Columbia College of Nursing students collaborated with 43 second-year MCW pharmacy students and 61 second-year MCW medical students in an IPE session on the MCW campus. Students worked together on a patient case that was augmented with the use of standardized patients (individuals portraying patients). The goal was for students to increase their comfort levels in working in health care teams, practice effective teamwork when working with patients, and enhance the delivery of patient-centered care.

Nursing, pharmacy, and medical students were placed in 28 interprofessional teams, of approximately 5 students each, to work on a patient case featuring a standardized patient with peripheral arterial disease. The activity included each team collaborating to create 20 questions they would ask a patient during an interview, with the goal of developing a diagnosis and a comprehensive plan of care. Each team then exchanged their thoughts and finalized a diagnosis and plan of care. The teams collaboratively delivered the plan to the patient at the second encounter, and later received feedback from the patient about the team’s performance. Small and large group debriefing sessions allowed students to reflect on what they learned during the session.

Student feedback showed the impact of the session, with one student commenting, “I learned I cannot give my best, most optimal patient care on my own: collaborating with other health care professionals allows for the best patient experience and care possible.” Overall, the session provided the students an opportunity for self-reflection, an appreciation for the expertise and skills of other disciplines, and a better understanding of how collaboration amongst disciplines enhances patient care.

IPE learning helps prepare students at Columbia College of Nursing to meet the demands placed on nurses in today’s health care settings, knowing they have a healthcare team to support them.