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Interprofessional education project positive for both pharmacy and physio

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Lai Yan Pow and Polly Browne.

“It’s about working together, not just being in the same place at the same time – and learning from each other to improve care of the patient,” Professional practice fellow Aynsley Peterson

Two pharmacy students who participated in a pilot interprofessional learning project, together with student physiotherapists, are enthusiastic about their experience.

Lai Yan Pow and Polly Browne volunteered to participate in the community-based exercise, health and diet programme for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes.

They worked alongside the student physiotherapists, providing participants with advice about their medication as well as delivering presentations about diabetes control and pain management.
Fourth-year student Polly says she enjoyed working with people in the community and being able to use her knowledge to help increase understanding of their medical conditions and how they can take charge of their health.

“The physiotherapy students that Lai Yan and I worked alongside were very easy to collaborate with and I learned much more about their profession and the services that physiotherapists can offer.”
Lai Yan, who is also in her final year of study, says the project was a good opportunity to learn and practice communication skills with “real” patients, as well as cooperating with the physiotherapy students.

“I think the biggest takeaway from this IPE is understanding the importance of the pharmacist and interprofessional cooperation in up-lifting patients’ health and wellbeing,” Lai Yan says.

School of Pharmacy professional practice fellow Aynsley Peterson says interprofessional education is a priority for the division of health sciences and it is important to expose students to the experience.
“It’s about working together, not just being in the same place at the same time – and learning from each other to improve care of the patient.”

The Tairawhiti interprofessional education programme is the school’s largest interprofessional experience however, not all students can participate in this.

The community-based exercise, health and diet programme in Dunedin was an opportunity to see whether students could be involved in a local programme.

School of physiotherapy professional practice fellow Chris Higgs is also enthusiastic about the programme’s success.

Article written by Liane Topham-Kindley for Pharmacy Today, September 2017