MU | Features
I n concert with other health professions , Manchester Pharmacy prepares future pharmacy practitioners by intertwining education , practice and professionalism to form a competency cornerstone . Its pharmacy curriculum has been enriched through interprofessional education , or IPE , since its first class enrolled in 2012 .
Sarah Gordon , Pharm . D ., an associate professor of pharmacy practice , cites the definition of IPE as opportunities when students from two or more professions learn with , about , and from each other .
“ Teaching students in different health care professions together helps them learn the roles and responsibilities for all members of the care team , so that when they graduate and are practicing , their teams are more efficient ,” said Gordon , who serves as the first interprofessional education coordinator for the program .
Following the Interprofessional Education Collaborative framework for patient-centered practice , IPE embraces four core competencies in pharmacy education : 1 ) Values / Ethics for Interprofessional Practice , 2 ) Roles / Responsibilities , 3 ) Interprofessional Communication , and 4 ) Teams and Teamwork .
In 2011 , health care educators at Manchester University and other area universities established the Fort Wayne Area Interprofessional Education Consortium . The educators believed that students in different health profession settings would benefit from shared learning experiences , since they would be working together in practice .
“ They start with an introduction of interprofessional education , where students each describe their own professions , roles and responsibilities , education and background , and details about their degree program ,” explains Gordon . “ There is also a medical-error communication activity , and one we call , ‘ Clinical Conundrums ’ where students review difficult patient cases . In this activity , they discuss values and ethics , and treatment plans that accommodate cultural differences or disability , for instance .”
Serving as president of the consortium since 2020 , Gordon said Manchester pharmacy and athletic training students currently work with graduate health care students from other institutions , such as physician assistant , nurse practitioner , physical therapy and occupational therapy students . This year , speech language pathology students also will be joining , Gordon said .
By 2016 , interprofessional education was more than just a good idea – it became a standard in pharmacy education called for by the profession ’ s accreditation body , ACPE .
“ Seated in those standards is to have our students work with prescribers ,” said Gordon . “ We partner with several area universities training students in prescriber roles , such as physicians , nurse practitioners and physician assistants . Through various programs , our students have opportunities to participate in IPE learning activities along with these students .”
Over the past decade , Manchester Pharmacy added a variety of IPEspecific events within the curriculum and co-curriculum . These events are offered both within and outside of required coursework , Gordon said .
But , beginning in 2022 , Gordon ’ s work in developing Manchester ’ s IPE programming will reflect an improved model – one that embeds relevant IPE activities within specific courses to better streamline student learning . This new approach will seamlessly tether rigorous academic instruction to a related IPE learning experience , simplifying the process for students in fulfilling their requirements , Gordon said .
Gordon , a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist , also supervises pharmacy students on rotations at her clinical practice at Dupont Hospital . She receives consultation requests from nursing staff , termed “ geriatric navigators ,” who provide care for senior patients in the emergency department .
“ I review the medications of older adult patients , to make sure they are on the optimal regimen and that they are educated on their medications , including any changes to medications ,” Gordon said .
Though nursing students from other programs also complete their internships at Dupont , planned interprofessional experiences for pharmacy and nursing students are not currently available at Gordon ’ s clinical site . Manchester students do interact and work with other health profession students during many of their clinical rotations , she said .
“ Interprofessional education in the clinical setting is generally a new concept and scheduling in this setting is quite challenging – but we will get there ,” Gordon said .
By re-architecting her programming , Gordon is taking a long view in how Manchester prepares students as skilled future pharmacy practitioners who work as part of a multi-professional team .
“ Through interactive engagement in IPE activities , we help our students to see firsthand the importance of their collaborative work with other health professionals – which ultimately will improve patient care and outcomes ,” Gordon said . by Linda Homewood
Manchester University | ManchesterRx 17