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IPE Training Activities Continue to Grow for Professional Students

By Brian Kirschner

IPE GroupInterprofessional education (IPE) continues to become an important and growing aspect of training for all USciences professional students. More and more opportunities are being added both as part of internal activities and collaborations with other local universities.

On March 1, 2016, a large scale IPE experience event took place at USciences for 340 first-year professional students in the pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and occupational therapy programs. Large group and small group formats were used to facilitate discussions around roles and responsibilities, as well as student perceptions about different career paths. A social dinner hour was also provided courtesy of Samson College of Health Sciences and Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.

This was the first of a series of IPE learning opportunities USciences plans to offer to meet the strategic plan objective to foster “collaborative ready” students upon graduation. Facilitators of this experience were Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Karleen Melody, PharmD, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Wendy Fox. MOT, and Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Kimberly Ward, DPT, with a special thank you to Department of Physician Assistant Studies Chair Joan Ward, MS.

CPR lessonThe American Heart Association (AHA) offers certification in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), a team-based response strategy used to optimize the survival of patients in life-threatening cardiac emergencies. For the first time in Philadelphia College of Pharmacy’s history, ACLS certification was conducted as an IPE ACLS certification course along with University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and School of Nursing on March 5, 2016.

During this 10-hour course, six USciences pharmacy students were certified in ACLS through the AHA in addition to 13 UPenn students. Throughout the day, students worked in mixed teams of pharmacy, medical, and nursing students to provide basic life support, manage various life-threatening situations, and practice effective resuscitation team dynamics. Additionally, the students involved in the course discussed their education/post-graduate training opportunities, scope of practice, and potential career paths with the other professions.  

IPE Group

Left to right: Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Angela L. Bingham, Grigor Abelian PharmD’17, Vivek Kataria PharmD’16, Dorela Priftanji PharmD’17, Ryan Burkhardt PharmD’17, Austyn Grim PharmD’17, Song Oh PharmD’17, and Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Michael J. Cawley PharmD’96

According to Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Angela L. Bingham, PharmD, who coordinated the experience along with a physician and nurse practitioner from UPenn, this IPE ACLS certification course represents a novel delivery of the AHA course.  Bingham noted, “By learning with, from, and about each other during the course, I am confident that these health professional students will be better prepared to collaborate and provide high quality care when faced with medical emergencies in the future.”


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