Interprofessional Education (IPE) focuses on an education process whereby students from two or more different health professions work together to “learn about, from, and with each other to enable collaboration and improve health outcomes.”
UNMC has been involved with IPE since 2010 and has taken the position that IPE is a priority for health professions education. UNMC administration has urged all colleges to be involved – even to the point of appointing an assistant dean for interprofessional education. Annually in the fall, all entering students from the College of Dentistry (COD) and the Lincoln Division College of Nursing (CON) get together to do an IPE group activity stressing the importance of teamwork.
The College of Dentistry (COD) and the Lincoln Division College of Nursing (CON) have embarked on a hands-on approach to IPE. Starting with Children’s Dental Day in 2011, Lincoln Division CON students began participating in the clinical activities at the dental college. About 200 children are seen at each of the Dental Day clinics. In Lincoln, nursing students do vitals and other physical testing on the children and then join with the dental and dental hygiene students chair-side to assist with care. Up to 70 nursing students have been involved with Dental Day at the college and we expect this to continue both in Lincoln and in the Panhandle with West Division nursing students from the Scottsbluff campus assisting with Panhandle Dental Day in June annually.
Dental SHARING Clinic is another point of activity between the COD and the CON. Lincoln nursing students do vitals and a visual check of the incoming patients. These have been very successful sessions and we plan to continue them as well as invite other health professions students from the Omaha campus and Lincoln area to participate.
The COD is also working with area nursing homes to provide oral health training to nursing home staff. The dental hygiene students provide dental hygiene health care services to patients in the nursing homes. This effort is just getting under way and we are excited for the future work and outcomes within the nursing homes.
IPE Competencies Developed for UNMC:
- Respect the unique cultures, values, roles/responsibilities, and expertise of other health professions
- Work in cooperation with those who receive care, those who provide care, and others who contribute to or support the delivery of prevention and health services
- Communicate with team members to clarify each member’s responsibility in executing components of a treatment plan or public health intervention
- Forge interdependent relationship with other professions to improve care and advance learning
- Listen actively and encourage the ideas and opinions of other team members
- Describe the process of team development and the roles and practices of effective teams
- Develop consensus on the ethical principles to guide all aspects of patients care and team work