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D’Youville Holds Interprofessional Education Events

D’Youville Holds Interprofessional Education Events

This semester, students at D’Youville who studied in eight different fields came together to work, interact, and learn in a new and unique type of learning event: speed dating. 

The two events focused on healthcare students who participate in interprofessional education and were designed to show how multiple disciplines are involved in the whole care of the patient, drawing on each area’s innate strengths.  

Unique to D’Youville’s interprofessional education model is the inclusion of its eight health professions programs — pharmacy, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic, dietetics, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner — all learning and interacting with one another. 

Research has shown that the incorporation of health models such as this leads to improved provider communication, decreased medical errors, and better patient outcomes. 

The College’s first Interprofessional Speed Dating event was held over three separate days and involved more than 400 health profession students. 

Students in eight of D'Youville's health professions, including health services administration, were placed into interprofessional teams where they had the opportunity to engage with faculty and community clinicians.  

Students were able to share information and dispel any myths about their professions, requirements for licensure, clinical experiences, potential jobs, and how they might work with one another to provide high-quality care for future patients.   

"The whole purpose of the speed dating event is for students to gain a new perspective and value of each other's given professions and how they fit together," says Karen Panzarella PhD, associate professor of physical therapy and interprofessional education. "It all gets back to working as a team."  

Unique to the event at D'Youville was the addition of groups obtaining a clue, in this case, an interaction between a patient and a healthcare professional, from an example patient case taking place over seven months.   

After visiting the last table, each of the groups were tasked with putting the "clues" in chronological order, the profession involved, and in what type of setting.  

"I learned how many of our fields have a multitude of settings to practice or work in, and you don't have to be in a clinical setting to make an impact," says chiropractic student Brittney Walters '21. "This helped further my knowledge of my profession by showing me where it fits into the healthcare model."  

Once debriefed, students got the opportunity to meet the patient, in this case, an actor, who told their healthcare story. The staff specifically chose this type of patient as a possible person they could meet in the upcoming Health Professions Hub.  

Being able to put a face to a patient allows students to gain an appreciation for the continuum of care — seeing what a patient goes through before and after they visit and interact with their respective positions helps students achieve a deeper understanding and connection with the patient.   

"I loved when we were able to meet the patient," says occupational therapy student Reb Jeremiah Beltrano '22. "By hearing the story directly from him, it made our learning the case study all the more meaningful." 

The second event focused on the two patient actors, “Tom” and “Martha,” who the more than 400 students in D’Youville’s Simulation Center were treating throughout the semester. Tom and Martha spoke about their experiences from the point of view of one year after their treatments, including their accomplishments, challenges, what treatments they received in the hospital, and the impact they had. 

Students involved in the Simulation Center hear the patient actors stories.Students involved in the Simulation Center hear the patient actors stories.

Patient actors Tom and Martha tell their storiesPatient actors Tom and Martha tell their stories.

Students also heard from a veteran who spoke about the challenges of injuries from war and veteran suicide, a patient who “Tom” was modeled after, as well as a domestic violence survivor. 

Student veteran and physical therapy student, Daniel Semaru speaks to the crowd.Student veteran and physical therapy student, Daniel Semaru speaks to the crowd.

"We're preparing our students to be team players in healthcare, and we're preparing our students for what they may experience not just in the Health Professions Hub, but in other future settings," adds Panzarella. "In the past, healthcare professions were taught in silos during their academic careers and asked to function in teams after graduation. This team-based collaborative care leads to better communication and better patient outcomes."