News • October 31, 2016

Interprofessional health care pilot program aims to better equip CBU students

Interprofessional health care pilot program aims to better equip CBU students

Students discuss a health care case study under the guidance of Dr. Lisa Bursch, associate professor of nursing (center) at California Baptist University, during the Interprofessional Education Seminar on Oct. 28.

Riverside, Calif. (Oct. 31, 2016) – More than 100 California Baptist University graduate students from six health care programs gathered on Oct. 28 as part of a pilot program for new interprofessional education (IPE).

The Interprofessional Education Seminar, held at CBU’s College of Health Science campus, came as a result of an IPE committee that is working to create interprofessional curriculum for CBU students.

“The end goal of all of this is to help our students be collaborative practice-ready, which is a requirement in health care now,” said Dr. Dayna Herrera, associate professor of nursing and the IPE committee chair. “Working in teams shows improvements in patient care and community outcomes.” 

Dr. Nicole MacDonald, professor of kinesiology, said bringing students together to learn how to work with each other goes beyond traditional classroom discussions.

“Just sitting in a classroom [next to] other professions is not interprofessional education,” MacDonald said. “You need to learn about them, learn how to work with them, learn what their roles are and then you need to educate them on what your roles are.”

Heather Ontiveros, assistant professor of physician assistant studies, organized the seminar. In prior occupations, she transitioned from an athletic trainer to a physician assistant and noticed a gap in communication between the two health providers.  

“Because of my relationships, I was able to bridge gaps,” Ontiveros said. “We need to be comfortable calling other professions.”  

During the seminar, students teamed up on a case study that helped them understand each profession’s roles and responsibilities within a patient’s care. 

Elvis Garcia, an athletic training graduate student, learned how many of the roles between professions overlap.

“It’s easy just to focus on our profession,” Garcia said. “It’s easy to not even think about other providers and the relationship they have with your patient, [but] it’s critical for the best patient health overall.”

Herrera said more health care programs are being required to have IPE in their curriculum as part of accreditation standards, she said. 

“IPE improves patient outcomes because providers have to work in teams,” Herrera said. “They all have a part to play; not one person can do it all.” 

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