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Students engage in team work, address health care issues

MUSC and Creating Collaborative Care (C3) had its fifth annual Interprofessional Day on Jan. 8. Interprofessional (IP) Day was an all-day event that involved all first and second year students—approximately 1,150 students.
Second-year students began the day by attending a presentation by the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease team. Lotta Granholm, Ph.D., DDS, professor and director for the Center on Aging, provided remarks about the role of basic scientists in clinical and translational research. Students then moved to small groups to work on an interprofessional case study with students from various programs. This year’s case study focused on alcohol awareness.
First-year occupational and physical therapy students Heidi Warren, Pierce Bruner and Ashley Farina list stereotypes associated with their health profession as part of an interprofessional activity.
For the first time, first-year dental, nursing and medical students began coursework in the inaugural Interprofessional Education (IPE) core course, IP 710-Transforming Healthcare for the Future. In this online course, students will explore the art and science of teamwork and communication skills, cultural competency, ethical issues, health care disparities, social determinants of health and evidence-based medicine. The orientation and kickoff for the course was held at noon on IP Day. Next year, all six colleges will be involved in this IPE core course.
After the orientation, all first-year students attended a presentation by Helen Haskell. Haskell spoke about her son, Lewis Blackman, who died at MUSC in 2000 following a series of medical errors. She, and fellow IP Day speaker, Chris Rees, director of Quality and Patient Safety at the Medical University Hospital, described subsequent health care system improvements enacted to prevent such errors in the future. These include the Lewis Blackman Hospital Patient Safety Act (established in 2005) and the presence of rapid response teams in hospitals. South Carolina is the only state with legislation mandating patient rights during hospitalization. A national advocate for promoting patient safety, Haskell’s remarks poignantly highlighted how health care professionals need the humility to acknowledge when a patient needs immediate attention and the courage to take action to address potential errors.
First-year students were then split into small groups to work on an interprofessional activity. This activity helped participants learn about each others’ professions and addressed stereotypes targeted toward health professionals.
Approximately 20 employees from all six colleges, as well as the Division of Education and Student Life, and 45 faculty, staff and student facilitators were involved in the day.
For information, visit the Creating Collaborative Care Web site at

Friday, Jan. 15, 2010

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