Under the Big Top: Staging Intra and Interprofessional Learning Experiences for the PTA.
Purpose: “Ladies and Gentleman….. PTs and PTAs of all ages….Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth!” Are you having difficulty implementing collaborative interactions between healthcare disciplines on your campus? Are you struggling with walking the tight rope of balancing and modeling the PT/PTA relationship? The presentation will provide participants with ready to use tools to design, implement, and execute collaborative projects that promote student engagement. But the show doesn’t stop there! The performance also includes a high flying act of embedding cultural competence within the learning experiences. So bring your ticket to the unveiling of Rhodes State College’s innovative approaches that address both intra and interprofessional education. Methods and/or Description of Project: The Division of Health Sciences at Rhodes State College examined the relationship developed between students of nine health disciplines while engaged in two interprofessional learning retreats. Experiences were created, implemented, and revised over the nine year span of the continuously evolving interprofessional learning model, which divides students into multi-disciplinary teams to comprehensively treat a medically complex patient through interprofessional collaboration and the use of a computer supportive collaborative learning tool (wiki). Additionally, the PTA program has developed and implemented an intraprofessional PT/PTA collaboration day with the University of Findlay for three consecutive years to develop the knowledge, skills, and teamwork necessary for contemporary practice. Results/Outcomes: Intra and interprofessional teams are essential to optimize patient centered care. The IPE model at Rhodes State College is both an interprofessional and inter-institutional team which includes at least 16 faculty from nine health disciplines, a seven member committee, and administrative support to implement curricular and co-curricular IPE experiences. Survey responses indicate positive perceptions of the value of the experiences along with the potential ability to positively collaborate in the field. The embedded cultural diversity component of the retreats also resulted in improved pre- test/post test scores and personal growth in self-reflective essays related to global and diversity awareness. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education recognizes the importance of IPE. The Standards and Required Elements for Accreditation of Physical Therapist Assistant Education Programs contain criteria that are directed towards the development of interprofessional competencies. Secondary to changing reimbursement patterns and the pressures of the work environment, interprofessional education is a timely topic with increased literature and research devoted to innovative curricular inclusion models. Fostering collaborative relationships early in a didactic curriculum rather than an educational silo forges a strong bridge to clinical practice which ultimately supports “collaborative ready” clinicians.