Enhancing Interprofessional Engagement Within a Student-led Extracurricular Project: Successes and Challenges
Interprofessional Student Poster Description: The Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative and the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education both support the presence of interprofessional extracurricular activities to enhance interprofessional education efforts. The proposed poster focuses on Krewe du Flu (KDF), an extracurricular interprofessional student-run organization, at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans, Louisiana. KDF was created with the mission of making an impact in the community by providing flu vaccines to minorities and the underprivileged, while providing future health professionals with an understanding of vaccination hesitancy in the community. KDF has focused its efforts on strengthening the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Competency #3 (interprofessional communication) by aiming to have members communicate with the community and other future health professionals to support primary prevention through flu vaccinations.
KDF is relatively new, established in the spring of 2021. The community-based project would like to highlight the work that has gone into creating and promoting an interprofessional environment. The current board is composed of students from the School of Medicine. Gaining members across LSUHSC’s six schools has been a challenge. To overcome this challenge, KDF collaborated with leaders from the interprofessional education office and spoke in-person during interprofessional classes to recruit members. This form of recruitment enhanced our interprofessional membership going from 96% Medicine, 3.5% Nursing, and 0.5% Allied Health last year to 80% Medicine, 9% Nursing, 4% Public Health, 3% Dentistry, 2% Graduate Studies, and 2% Allied Health this year. Another obstacle KDF faced was professional-specific state regulations affecting students’ ability to volunteer. For example, the state nursing practice act limits nursing students from providing administration of vaccinations without direct supervision from nursing faculty. However, to retain nursing student involvement, KDF has included other volunteer opportunities such as performing blood pressure and body mass index checks at local health fairs.
This school year, KDF held 7 vaccination trainings, with 85 newly trained students, and volunteered at 3 health fairs and 2 homeless shelters. Although our membership distribution has improved this year, we still have 98% of our active volunteers coming from the School of Medicine with only 2% from other schools. Our hope is that KDF will continue to strengthen its interprofessional component so that we can work on our goal of strengthening our students’ interprofessional collaboration. This poster is being proposed to showcase student-based efforts in strengthening interprofessional communication amongst six health professional schools while harboring disease prevention in the community.