Interprofessional observerships provide insight

By Dr. Lindsay Davidson, Collaborator Lead

 

For several years, first year medical students have had the opportunity to shadow a non-physician health care provider for a half day as part of the Introduction to Professional Roles course. This initiative, championed by Dr. Sanfilippo, initially involved nurses at one institution and has grown to include 3 sites (KGH, HDH and PCCC) and 11 different groups of health care providers. First year students are charged with beginning to understand their role (as future physicians) as well as the role(s) of the myriad types of health care providers that they will work with over the course of their careers. Most years, the Observerships have been preceded by an in-class brainstorming session, where student infer what various professionals’ roles might be. Following this, students are assigned to work with one of the available health care providers during curricular time. This practical experience allows students to act as ‘anthropologists’, observing for themselves what various health care providers actually do, day-to-day as well as how they collaborate with patients, family members and other members of their team. Finally, at the end of term, students convene in groups to compare and debrief their experiences, collating new lists of the roles and functions that they have observer, to be contrasted with their initial brainstorming. Invariably, the end-of-term collations reflect the insight of the experiences that they have shared.

Here are some of the observations students have made:

“I liked being able to be a part of the meetings with families so that I could better understand what role the social worker played.”

“My preceptor was very approachable and forthcoming with information about her profession; she seemed very enthusiastic about participating in the IP program.”

“… I just had not thought about how the social worker-patient encounter would rely on the same trust- and rapport-building methods as the physician physicians do.”

“I had pictured a dietitian’s work to be office-based, with patients coming for consults at her desk. It never occurred to me that in the hospital, they would accompany the rest of the health teams to do rounds.”

“And I now appreciate the importance of an OT in helping a patient adapt to their new health and return to their normal life as best as possible.”

“I had envisioned a solemn chaplain giving last rites, but clearly this is not the role of the spiritual care practitioner at KGH. Instead, I was surprised by the breadth of the role – there are people who do not consider themselves spiritual or religious at all, yet still speak at length with the spiritual care practitioner about their life and their thoughts about death.”

“I believe it is important to be aware of how physicians can collaborate with allied health professionals to provide the best care, recognizing that we cannot do everything.”

The Interprofessional (IP) Observership has been met with enthusiasm by students and our hospital partners alike and this year, we are offering students the opportunity to participate in an optional second observership, to broaden their experience an understanding of their future IP colleagues. Additionally, in 2017-18, we will be piloting an advanced IP Observership at the Kingston Community Health Centre, where groups of students will spend half a day observing a team-based Interprofessional clinic in our community.


With thanks to students Sarah Edgerley,  Shannon Willmott, Ameir Makar, and Etienne Benard-Seguin who have been working on tracking and analyzing the Interprofessional Observership experience.

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Students compete in 7th Annual Health Care Team Challenge

Three interprofessional teams of students faced off on Monday, November 16 in the 7th Annual Queen’s Health Care Team Challenge.

The teams tackled a case developed by the Health Service Centre team at Canadian Forces Base Kingston. Each team had students from Nursing, Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Psychology.

The five-member judging panel included two local clinicians who developed the case, along with faculty, student and patient representatives.

The teams had been preparing for the competition since October 16.

The winners were “Team Three”, which included:  Ahyoung Cho, Nursing; Wilson Lam, Medicine; Heather Shepherd, Occupational Therapy; Kayla Hertendy, Physical Therapy; Stephanie Gauvin, Psychology; Additional Team member: Elishea Mardling, Occupational Therapy; Back-up member: Verdah Bismah, Medicine; Faculty mentor: Lynne Harwood-Lunn, MN, RN, School of Nursing.

team three
The winning Health Care Challenge Team, shown here at the orientation event in October.

The two other teams were: Team One: Kyrinne Lockhart, Nursing; Alex Trajkovski, Medicine; Allie Rogers, Occupational Therapy; Heather Greene, Physical Therapy; Melissa Milanovic, Psychology; Additional Team member: Richa Kukkar, Physical Therapy; Back-up member: Shikha Kuthiala, Medicine; Faculty mentor: Brent Wolfrom, MD, School of Medicine. And Team Two: Charlotte Wilson, Nursing; Stephanie Piper, Medicine; Joshua Lee, Occupational Therapy; Erin Makins, Physical Therapy; Robyn Jackowich, Psychology; Additional Team member: Claudia Romkey, Nursing; Back-up member: Greg Smith, Physical Therapy; Faculty mentor: Heidi Cramm, PhD, OT, School of Rehabilitation Therapy.

Co-moderator Anne O’Riordan noted that all three teams’ presentations were exceptional, each presenting the case in a unique way which made for an educational evening for all.  Co-moderator Ralph Yeung was a member of the very first Queen’s team in 2009.

The Health Care Team ChallengeTM is an interprofessional education event, originally developed at the University of British Columbia in the 1980s. Students volunteer to participate in order to enhance and practice their collaborative team skills. Each student interprofessional (IP) team is provided with the same case to work on for a period of three weeks, with the goal of developing a collaborative, interprofessional person-centered plan of care. A faculty mentor is matched with each team for consultation and advice.

The Queen’s Health Care Team Challenge is jointly sponsored by the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice (OIPEP) and the Queen’s Health Interprofessionals Student Society (QHIP).

Team Three (soon to be renamed the Queen’s Team) will compete in the National Health Care Team Challenge™ in March 2016, hosted this year by Dalhousie University.

“Major Marlene Lefebvre was instrumental in connecting the health services team at the base with OIPEP, after initial email connections made by Alice Aiken,” O’Riordan said. “It really took a ‘health care community’ to do develop, organize, and implement this event and the learning was apparent for everyone.”

Here’s the beginning of the case the teams had to address:

You are a medical officer (MO, i.e. a military physician) in the health care team in Care Delivery Unit (CDU) 2 at 33 CFH Svcs C in Kingston, Ontario. The Base Surgeon (BSurg) informed the team yesterday the she was talking to the task force surgeon in Afghanistan and that an injured female service member would be arriving at the clinic this morning for an assessment. It will be sometime mid-morning before she arrives, hot off a CC-117 Globemaster transport aircraft landing in CFB Trenton at around 0730.

You don’t know much about the case other than that she is a 25 y.o. captain logistics officer who was injured two days previously in Cyprus, where she was undergoing a decompression stop after finishing her tour in theatre in Afghanistan. You note that she is a member of the Canadian Forces Joint Operations Support Group (CFJOSG) based at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston, and you remember that members of the unit were attached to a provincial reconstruction team (PRT). She is ambulatory as far as you know…

 

Credit where it’s due:

It takes a lot of effort from a great many people to pull an event like this together. In addition to the teams, here are the folks who made it happen:

Case Developers:

Health Services, Canadian Forces Base Kingston

CFB Kingston Liaison:

Major Marlene Lefebvre

Moderators:

Anne O’Riordan, OIPEP Clinical Educator, QHIP Advisor (OT)

Ralph Yeung, HCTC winner, 2009; IP Award of Leadership, 2013 (X-Ray Tech)

Welcoming Keynote Address:

Dr. Alice Aiken, Director, Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, Queen’s University, Royal Military College, Kingston. (PT)

Judges:

Dr. Lucie Pelland (SRT) – Faculty Representative (PT)

L.Cdr. Bradley Stewart, Clinical Rep. (Medicine)

Capt. Dwayne Rennick, Clinical Rep. (Social Work)

Amanda Shamblaw, Student Rep., QHIP Exec., Past HCTC participant (Psychology)

Dr. Peter Dunnett, Community/Patient Rep. (Economics Professor, ret., RMC)

Official Timekeeper:

Chloe Hudson, QHIP Executive Member, Past HCTC winner (Psych)

Presentation of Team Certificates & Team Photos:

OIPEP & QHIP

Presentation to Winning Team:

Dr. Rosemary Brander, OIPEP Director (PT)

 

 

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