If health care providers are to fully see and understand the full view of their patient/client’s experiences in order to address their health challenges they must understand their patients holistically. Factors such as access to health care, lifestyle, financial status and level of social support are critical determinants for health care.
It is with this understanding that the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University is taking an active role in exposing social work students to team-based approaches to patient care through the university’s Interprofessional Education programming.
The idea is simple: Future doctors, nurses, physician assistants, dentists and social workers learn in tandem and gain an appreciation for each other’s professional perspectives.
The results are revolutionary: A paradigm shift that creates teams of providers who work collaboratively to improve outcomes for patients, clients and society.
For social work students, the benefit of Interprofessional Education is an important foundation no matter where they eventually practice—be it in a health care setting, mental health care setting, government entity, community-based setting, school-based setting and more. For the Mandel School, Interprofessional Education is a student’s first step in their lifelong commitment to taking a well-rounded view of an individual’s circumstances and devising team-based approaches to create new futures.
“Interprofessional education, and practice, will be an exciting tool to better understand and combat the socioeconomic causes of poor health outcomes.”—Dean Grover C. Gilmore, PhD