Interprofessional education (IPE) and collaboration help students learn to work together, fostering their communication skills and a sense of shared responsibility as future health care providers. A new effort by nursing professor and Director of Interprofessional Education Mary Val Palumbo capitalizes on this spirit of collaboration by applying it to professional development and community service projects.
Under Dr. Palumbo’s guidance, 330 students from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Larner College of Medicine, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Education and Social Services and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will form interdisciplinary groups who volunteer at charitable events and community sites and attend professional development activities together.
Participants might pass water to runners in the YWCA Vermont Trick or Trot road race, glean apples for Salvation Farms, register athletes for Special Olympics or attend an educational panel together. As further incentive, groups that post their efforts on the UVM Interprofessional Education and Practice Facebook page will be considered for the CNHS Deans’ Award for Interprofessional Service this spring.
Interprofessional experiences help students to develop an understanding of the potential contributions of all health care professionals to the provision of safe, high-quality patient care, and establish mutual respect and positive regard for one another, said CNHS Dean Patricia Prelock.“What we do together is what really makes a difference.”