If integrated behavioral health care providers are to fully see and understand the full view of their client’s/patient experiences in order to address their health and psycho-social challenges, they must understand their clients/patients holistically. Factors such as: demographic characteristics, level of education, accessibility to resources, lifestyle, income, employment status, family structure and level of social support are critical determinants for overall health and well-being.
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 client/patient care through the university’s Interprofessional Education programming.
The idea is simple: Future social workers, doctors, nurses, physician assistants, dentists, speech language pathologists, audiologist, pharmacists, psychologists, and other helping professionals 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 clients, communities, 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, forensic 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 at CWRU begins with first year professional students being introduced to one another and working together in Collaborative Practice I (CPI). CPI is a yearlong course where students are placed in small interprofessional teams to learn from, with and about each other and each other’s respective field of practice. This unique learning environment is comprised of weekly workshops and a community-based experience. It is designed to complement the curriculum of each respective school’s curriculum to enhance team-based learning skills. Beyond CPI, students have the option to be involved in a number of student lead and run interprofessional organizations and projects. To hear more about this learning experience, please view a message from the Associate Provost of Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Education and Research, Dr. Tyler Reimschisel.