Faculty retreat fosters collaboration among health care professions
LAU’s Interprofessional Education Work Group meets with health and social care faculty to introduce recent developments and discuss future plans.
During the interprofessional education faculty retreat, Dr. Nancy Hoffart, founding dean of LAU's School of Nursing, shares the accomplishments of the IPE Work Group and encourages more faculty to join.
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The workshop was hosted by Dr. Nancy Hoffart, professor and founding dean of LAU’s Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing.
LAU’s IPE program is designed to prepare professionals in the university’s health and social care programs to function as effective, collaborative team members in order to improve health care and patient/client outcomes.
The program brings together students from the nursing, medicine, pharmacy, nutrition, and social work programs, to take part in IPE learning experiences in classroom, laboratory and clinical settings.
The aim of the retreat was to educate faculty about recent IPE developments and new approaches, which can then be incorporated into courses and clinical experiences beginning in the fall 2011 semester.
In her opening speech, Hoffart told workshop participants: “At LAU, I believe it’s important for us as faculty to develop trust and good communication, which is already evident among our 11-member IPE Work Group,” which consists of faculty members from the schools of Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Arts and Sciences.
“We’d like to extend this out to more LAU faculty. We are proud that the IPE program forms part of LAU’s new five-year strategic plan, to be launched in October 2011,” Hoffart added.
Leading an icebreaker during the retreat, Dr. Mona Haidar, who teaches at LAU’s School of Medicine and is a member of the IPE Work Group, asked faculty and other participants to write down facts about themselves and compare them with those of their colleagues.
The activity was a way to introduce the mission of IPE and highlight similarities among the health care professions for LAU students and faculty.
“We want to expose IPE to the rest of LAU’s health care faculty, so that more can join us in this initiative,” said Haidar. “We can work together, implementing learning activities with our students in hospital, community and classroom settings.”
Guest speakers Patricia Bluteau and Dr. Ann Jackson addressed the workshop participants via videoconference from the UK. They described their experiences with interprofessional education at the University of Warwick, and engaged participants in a Q&A session.
The workshop also addressed modes of delivering IPE, along with other challenges and constraints.
“One challenge might be that the five disciplines have different content to cover, with different time frames to complete them in,” said Hoffart. “We are taking small steps now, while seeking further guidance from Jackson and Bluteau.”
The retreat included a collaborative activity led by Dr. Anna Farra, faculty member at LAU’s School of Medicine and a member of the IPE Work Group. Faculty and attendees were divided into several groups to discuss various terms used by different groups of health and social care professionals. This enabled participants to identify faculty from other health care fields with similar academic interests.
The retreat ended with a tour of the new LAU clinical laboratories housing cutting-edge equipment and “patient-mannequins,” all in a hospital-like setting designed for clinical training.
“Implementing interprofessional education will be a hallmark experience for students and faculty in LAU’s health care programs,” Hoffart concluded. “We hope to become a leader in IPE, and a role model to other institutions within the region.”
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