Factors like access to health care, lifestyle, finances and social support are critical components for health care providers to understand if they are to see the full view of their patients’ experiences and address their health challenges holistically.
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 care through the university’s Interprofessional Education initiative.
The idea is simple: Future doctors, nurses, physician assistants, dentists and social workers learning in tandem and gaining an appreciation for each other’s perspectives.
The results are revolutionary: A paradigm shift that creates teams of providers who work collaboratively to improve outcomes for patients—and society.
For social work students, the benefit of Interprofessional Education is an important foundation no matter where they eventually practice—be it health care, government, community settings, schools and more. For the Mandel School, Interprofessional Education is a student’s first step in a life-long commitment to taking a well-rounded view of an individual’s circumstances and devising team-based approaches to create new futures.
“Interprofessional team care is the future. It leads to better care and outcomes for patients. It is our job to prepare students to be innovators. By starting them in their first term in interprofessional teams, we are helping them to be aware of the value of each member of the health care team.” —Dean Grover C. Gilmore, PhD
All on-campus social work students joining the Mandel School community in fall 2018 and after take part in a yearlong series of online modules and interprofessional classes and workshops that introduce students to professional role identity and appreciation of other team members, practices of effective teams, leadership, emotional intelligence and interprofessional team skill development.
Time spent in the foundational course applies toward a student earning an Interprofessional Education Certificate of Participation.