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Farmingdale State College School of Health Sciences Students Embrace IPE

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Farmingdale State CollegeAn increasing number of complex health issues—in addition to shortages in health care providers—burden today’s health care system. Health care models that implement a collaborative approach to patient care help alleviate some of that burden and allow for continuous improvement, safety and maximal patient outcomes. Providing students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for effective teamwork is now an important part of clinical health science education. Interprofessional Education (IPE) is here to stay.

In December 2013, Adele Spencer, RDH, M.S., and Maureen Tsokris, RDH, Ed.D., of Farmingdale State College’s Dental Hygiene program attended ADEA’s Regional Faculty Development Workshop: Bringing IPE Home and were eager to find a way to incorporate what they learned into their dental hygiene curriculum. Nursing and Medical Laboratory Technology colleagues in the Theresa Patnode Santmann School of Health Sciences at Farmingdale State College were also interested in participating in the development of a collaborative IPE experience for students. 

This February, Farmingdale State College held its first IPE student workshop with more than 120 students from the three programs. The workshop introduced a style of learning that enriches team-working skills, effective communication, shared goals and comprehension of the roles and responsibilities of various health care professionals.

During the workshop, students attended a class that gave an overview of IPE and collaborated with group members to identify key principles of each discipline’s code of ethics. Students analyzed case studies containing ethical dilemmas they may encounter in class and clinical rotations, discussing how they would manage the situations using what they had previously learned. By the end, students could describe the value of IPE and apply its principles of teamwork, effective communication and shared goals. 

Health science academia will be directly impacted as a result of this movement toward a collaborative workforce. Farmingdale State College, along with other institutions, is working hard to effectively prepare students for this new landscape.  

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