New focus on supporting interprofessional education

News / General
By Peter Jeffrey

With just few words into a microphone, the action begins in the Simulation Lab on Douglas 3. On this day, a nurse and a paramedic are teaming up with a resident to try to resuscitate a pediatric mannequin. Dr. Damon Dagnone is one of the instructors watching the scene unfold from behind a pane of one-way glass.

“This is a great example of interprofessional education coming to life,” he says. “It's all about coming together as a team while under a healthy amount of pressure to provide excellent patient care.”

And it's also a good example of the kind of training that the hospital is now aiming to make more of, so we can achieve our strategic aim of bringing to life new models of interprofessional care and education.

An interprofessional education (IPE) steering committee was set up last year, and in addition to representatives from KGH, it includes people from our Patient and Family Advisory Council, the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen's University and St. Lawrence College. It's been busy recently assessing the educational opportunities already available at KGH and creating task forces to identify and plan ways to take things to the next level.

“IPE is when people from two or more professions are learning with, from, and about each other,” says IPE project manager Cynthia Phillips. “There is mounting evidence that it works to build trust and positive attitudes between professions and that contributes to better patient outcomes in the end.”

A robust IPE system will also contribute to a richer experience for the many learners who come to KGH each year.

“Interprofessional collaboration and education are now competencies that are embedded in the school curriculums for all health care professions,” says Eleanor Rivoire, Vice President of Clinical Administration and Professional Practice and Chief Nursing Executive. “We need to have a workplace setting that models and supports those competencies.”

Now that the Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Model (ICPM) has been launched in every clinical area at KGH, the desire for more IPE opportunities is also on the rise across the hospital.

“We are going to be more strategic and deliberate in profiling how upcoming learning events can be more interprofessional in nature,” says Rivoire.