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New workshop prepares students for inter-professional collaboration

Jun 21, 2018
Guylaine Spencer

Centre for Simulation-Based Learning

It’s enough to make anyone nervous.

Imagine that you’re a student in health sciences. You could be in nursing, medicine or the physician assistant program. For the first time, you’re about to get some hands-on lessons in a hospital or a clinic. Not only will you be meeting and working with staff from your own (future) profession, but you’ll also be dealing with health professionals and students in other fields. What kind of challenges are you likely to encounter, and how can you prepare to meet those challenges?

To address these issues, professors have come together to develop a new workshop for students. “Transition to Workplace Learning” is designed to help students prepare for the “real world” by allowing them to act out scenarios that will arise once they’re on the hospital ward or in a community clinic – all in a safe, supervised setting, with feedback.

Nursing professors Dr. Joanna Pierazzo and Dr. Maria Pratt are collaboratively leading this initiative with their colleagues in other health science programs.

This workshop runs for 2 hours in the evening and will be available to health science students once a month, on a voluntary basis.

“There are four stations,” says Pratt. “They include conflict resolution, rule clarification, team functioning, and leadership.”

Pierazzo explains that students will learn with, from and about each other’s profession. “Even though faculty members are organizing the event, we have trained student facilitators to run it,” she says. Each session allows for up to 24 students and is currently open to nursing students from level 2 onwards and any students from the undergraduate medical program.

The professors developed the workshop because they noticed a learning gap. “In class, we provide students with the theory of inter-professional collaboration. This is an opportunity to be apply that in practice. We do it in the Centre for Simulation-Based Learning, so it’s a safe simulated environment,” says Pratt. “I also like the fact that the students play the role of learners. Often in our simulations, students say, Ok, I’m going to play the role of a nurse. But I’m not a nurse yet. I’m only a student. That’s a great reality check. This is how I’m going to be when I’m communicating with other learners or with nurses and physicians.”

Another unique characteristic of this workshop is that the BScN program is designing it in collaboration with other health profession programs. So far, the School of Medicine is involved, but the goal is to bring in other professions, including physician assistants, Pierazzo notes. This collaboration makes it a truly inter-professional effort right from the start.

The link to register for upcoming workshops is:  REGISTER

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