Professional Poster

Changing the Tone: An Interprofessional Student Experience in Management of Patients with Spasticity Disorders

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Some experience with IPE

Poster Description: Team-based care is best practice for healthcare providers; practitioners must be collaboration-ready and collaboration-savvy. Facilitation of interprofessional practice begins with student experiential learning opportunities that foster knowledge, skills and behaviors associated with interprofessional team competence. According to the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (2016), curricula designed to build competence should include information about the shared values of other professions; an understanding of one’s own role and that of other professions in assessing and addressing healthcare needs of individuals; practice in interprofessional communication, and knowledge about working as part of a team. Our goal was to promote a collaborative culture that would facilitate discussions about how occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant disciplines can work together to develop strategies for management of persons with hypertonicity, with the intention of enhancing patient experience, improving population health, increasing value, and improving the wellness of the health care team.

Faculty from Gannon University Ruskin collaborated in designing an IPE ‘Tone Day’ in which 76 students from OT, PT, and PA were randomly assigned to one of 14 multidisciplinary ‘teams’. Each team was given a case-based scenario developed by faculty experienced in management of persons with hypertonicity. Prior to this event, faculty coached students about team-based care and prepared them to discuss their unique scope of practice with other related disciplines. Following a short introduction, students dispersed into pre-assigned groups. Cases were provided with guiding questions to consider. For example, students were asked to reflect on how different medicines might impact OT/PT interventions and patient outcomes given each patient’s unique circumstances and goals.

Following this breakout session, participants reconvened. Individual groups were called upon to report on their group’s response to prompts. Faculty interacted, asking additional questions, and sharing real life experiences in team-based care. Learning outcomes were assessed through quantitative and qualitative methods including an IPE experience survey and reflection assignments designed to give students an opportunity to consider the impact of this experience on their perceptions and attitudes about working with other disciplines.

This IPE session was developed through the diligent efforts of faculty, as we needed to coordinate multiple schedules, as well as space and other faculty obligations. It offers a road map which we hope to improve upon with future cohorts. Our intent is to offer several IPE events within the curriculum where students have opportunities to interact with other disciplines to build a foundational knowledge about the benefits of team-based care.