Posted on January 19, 2017

Ninety-four (94) students from Qatar University College of Pharmacy (QU-CPH), Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q), College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) and University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) participated in a workshop on “Introduction to Interprofessional Education (IPE)”. The workshop, which was organized by IPE Committee and hosted at WCM-Q, aimed to foster collaboration among various health care professions.

Students were divided into 12 multi-disciplinary groups and engaged in a series of exercises under the supervision of facilitators from CPH, WCM-Q, CNA-Q and UCQ. They participated in an ice-breaker activity followed by a task in which they matched professions with a variety of medical competencies. The students then reviewed a patient case study which studied the journey of an elderly patient from admission to discharge. Using clinical reasoning discussions, they identified the patient’s needs, defined how each member of the team could assist in addressing them, and learned how as a team, they were best placed to provide evidence-based, holistic and timely care.

CPH Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Chair of the Interprofessional Education Committee Dr Alla El-Awaisi said: “The IPE exercises are proving to be extremely effective vehicles for allowing students of different disciplines to develop mutual understanding and respect for one another’s professional expertise. In addition, the students are developing an ease of communicating with one another in open, honest and professional ways, which is vitally important in a care-giving scenario. We are confident these IPE exercises will ensure the students are well prepared for working cooperatively with a diverse range of health care practitioners once they are fully qualified, which will allow them to collectively provide better patient care and, ultimately, better patient outcomes.”

CPH Associate Professor Dr Nadir Kheir said: “IPE is increasingly adopted in health education in the developed world, and definitely Qatar is leading in this direction. Health care students across Qatar are now enjoying this advanced strategy of education, and are learning in an environment that brings them together as a team from an early stage in their career. This way, we are helping shape the future health care delivery in a way that had never been seen before, and the result will be an enhanced health care delivery which in turn will be reflected in a better quality of life for our patients.”

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WCM-Q Associate Professor of Family Medicine in Clinical Medicine Dr Stella Major said: “As care teams become more diverse and care packages more complex it is vital that we prepare our students to work effectively with a wide variety of health care professionals. Effective cooperation among health professionals can have a very significant positive impact on the quality of patient care that is delivered, so it is very important we provide collaborative learning opportunities like this at an early stage in the students’ training.”

UCQ Nursing Instructor Kathleen de Leon-Demare said: “This IPE event was an excellent example of health professions working together towards a common goal. The faculty from the different professions “walked the talk” when we collaborated to create a comprehensive case scenario that illustrated our inter-linked roles in the management of patients from the hospital to the community. Our students benefit from the IPE learning activity as well as from our role-modeling of collaborative skills. The Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary in Qatar supports the development of competencies for interprofessional collaboration.”

CNA-Q Lead Instructor Lynn Daley said: “This was the most energetic IPE activity I have facilitated. The teams were all involved and collaborating together. The energy was palpable. My students are excited for the next IPE event”. CPH first-year student Zeena Al-Mansouri said: “It was a great opportunity to participate in our first interactive workshop and learn about the role of other health care professionals. I am proud to be part of this energetic batch of pharmacists, as these workshops will help us grow as students and understand the role that our colleagues play in patient care. They also help us prepare for our future careers through working in a collaborative environment and caring for patients.”

WCM-Q first-year student AlBandary Al-Qurashi said: “The exercises helped us to see patient care from the point of view of other health care professionals, and to learn how we can communicate with one another. Health care is a team effort and no single discipline can claim to be more important that the other one. We are all united by our desire to provide the very best to our patients, and working together effectively is the best way to do that.” CNA-Q second-year student Sumayya Bin Ahmed said: “Treating a patient is more complicated that we thought. There are many components to providing optimal health care to a patient, with each profession playing an important part. Working as a team helps.”

UCQ first-year student Daniah Setmariam Moreno said: “The IPE experience should be described more as a gift than an activity, as we all gained so much from it on both academic and personal aspects. The best thing about it was that I got to see how all of the team members who are coming from different backgrounds and various health departments came together as one to achieve the ultimate shared goal in helping our patient improve, that no one tried to be the star of the show as we all understand that each and every one of us has their own essential role, and that everything personal was kept aside as we were all focusing only on the patient’s well-being.”