This textbook was developed over ten years of scholarship with the significant focus of teaching interprofessional education from the lens of instructor/facilitator for healthcare professional students. The work reflects my view as both physician and nurse. Therefore, it does not reflect the perspective of only one profession or apply to only one healthcare profession. The textbook is being offered as a means to sustain this body of knowledge as well as offers learning activities that promote competency in interprofessional practice. During the process of learning about, with, and from interdisciplinary faculty teaching teams, content concerning interprofessional education and collaborative practice (IPECP) as well as best practices of pedagogy have been reviewed, piloted, and revised.
This open education resource (OER) offers the background to the intentional study of the principles of teamwork and interprofessional practice and their importance to the future of healthcare. Why do healthcare professionals need to practice interprofessionally? According to Bridges, Davidson, Odegard, Maki, and Tomkowiak (2011):
|Today’s patients have complex health needs and typically require more than one discipline to address issues regarding their health status. In 2001, a recommendation by the Institute of Medicine Committee on Quality of Health Care in America suggested that healthcare professionals working in interprofessional teams can best communicate and address these complex and challenging needs. This interprofessional approach may allow sharing of expertise and perspectives to form a common goal of restoring or maintaining an individual’s health and improving outcomes while combining resources (p. 1).|
The lessons and lab exercises that comprise this OER address the foundational education for interprofessional practice, identified by Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) that was created in 2009 when six national educational associations of health professionals,
|“…formed a collaborative to promote and encourage constituent efforts that would advance substantive interprofessional learning experiences to help prepare future health professionals for enhanced team-based care of patients and improved population health outcomes” ((Ostermeyer, 2015, para 1).|
This collaborative brought together higher education from various medical fields, providing interprofessional collaboration to guide professional schools. The idea behind IPEC is that students have a more well-rounded education, are more able to work as a part of a team and can work interprofessionally. According to the World Health Organization, “Interprofessional education occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes” (2010). Once students understand how to work interprofessionally, they are ready to enter the workplace as a member of the collaborative practice team. This is a key step in moving health systems from fragmentation to a position of strength.
The intended audience for this OER is “students,” but students are not limited to healthcare profession students. The population of students could include pre-professional healthcare students as well as current healthcare providers that have not already completed professional development concerning the toolkit for interprofessional practice.
The main body of this OER is divided into two parts: lessons and lab exercises. There are ten lessons that concern the IPEC Domains of Values/Ethics, Roles/Responsibilities, Interprofessional Communication, and Teams/Teamwork. There are one to three lessons devoted to each of these domains. Additionally, there is content concerning conflict management, bullying and incivility, polarity thinking, and structural competency. Each lesson is organized to include a Learning Guide that outlines objectives, competencies, definitions, and a curated collection of sources that have a companion study guide. The sources are Web links to online content that can be a journal article, an online blog or content at an organizational website, a video, or chapter in a book.
Meanwhile, the second part of this OER is comprised of twenty lab exercises. There are two to six lab exercises that could apply to each lesson. There is no specific alignment with a particular lesson found the the first part of the OER. Rather, the lab exercises were designed to apply knowledge and demonstrate competency of the IPEC Domains. Each lab exercise includes objectives and/or IPEC Sub-competencies, instructions, the activity to be completed, and a rubric. The activity can be a reflection, case analysis, or worksheet. These lab exercises have been piloted as both in-person flipped classroom activities as well as written assignments. The lab exercises offer opportunity for both individual and group work. On closer examination, instructors can easily adapt the exercises to meet the needs of their student population and settings.
Supplemental sections to this OER include Glossary Terms and Bibliography. The Glossary Terms are a compilation of the definitions found in each lesson. Meanwhile, the bibliography is a lengthy list of sources cited in the OER as well as influential sources that contributed to the expert knowledge gained and required to develop the lessons and lab exercises that comprise this OER.
Lastly, this OER is intended to be used as both a whole and in parts. Meaning, that the whole of The Interprofessional Education Lab Manual and Workbook can be accessed via downloading the whole OER. Alternatively, a specific lesson or lab exercise can be accessed via a Web link. Therefore, students and instructors are encouraged to pick and choose what is appropriate for their professional development needs.