The interprofessional education project was an enlightening experience.
As a physiotherapist working in home care I have often supervised students within my own discipline. This role is one that I enjoy and it allows me to help a new generation of therapists learn the skills that they need to be great therapists. From the beginning, the IPE project mandated that I use these mentoring skills but with a slightly different purpose. I had to step back and realize that I wasn’t teaching specific skills to the medical and nursing students but rather about my scope of practice and area of expertise. I also realized the amount of knowledge I had about the health care system, and home care from the years that I have spent in this sector. This led to great discussions with the medical and nursing students and helped me to realize how important it is for health professionals at all levels to know about different scopes and areas of practice. I was delighted when the students were able to see the challenges that the clients in their homes face, and for them to realize that these challenges would not be as apparent in an office or hospital setting. For some students this realization came intuitively, and for others it took some probing questions and discussion.
As a therapist working in the home care environment, I have learned how to work autonomously but also how to effectively and efficiently communicate with other health care professionals, clients and caregivers. Having said this, communication with other health care professionals isn’t always easy. While out in the home with the medical and nursing students, the question of communication and how to communicate with each other was often raised. How and when to communicate with each other is crucial to be able to give the client the very best care. This project enabled this discussion to take place and created a starting point for open communication between two health professionals. Overall, I felt the IPE project highlighted the allied health professionals role and demystified the home health care environment to medical and nursing students.