WSU Spokane teams up for a healthier Washington
When good health fails, life can get complicated. On top of everything else, patients shouldn't have to deal with issues related to poor communications and coordination between their health care providers. In an ideal world, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and other health care professionals communicate with each other seamlessly to provide the best possible care to their patients.
Yet, our health care education system was not designed to encourage team work among health care professionals. Under the current model, students learn the skills they need to practice their own profession, but have little knowledge of the roles of other health care professionals or how to best interact with them. Often, it isn't until they graduate and enter the job market that they get to work with professionals in other health disciplines.
Here at WSU Spokane-Washington State University's health sciences campus-we do things a little differently. We're not just educating the state's future generation of health care professionals. We're also training them to be members of a health care team.
We expose our future health professionals to interprofessional learning opportunities, both in and outside the classroom. On any given day, you might find students from various health disciplines working together to provide community health screenings or provide care to Sim Man, a human patient simulator. Once a year, as part of the extracurricular health care team challenge, teams of aspiring health professionals compete to develop the best collaborative care plan for a volunteer patient.