Feb. 27, 2023

UCalgary in Qatar students participate in interprofessional education activities at Qatar University

With their peers, third-year nursing students discussed roles and responsibilities of various health professions and how best to collaborate to improve patient outcomes
UCQ Students taking part in an interactive group discussion at the Interprofessional Education (IPE) event organised at Qatar University
UCQ Students take part in an interactive group discussion at the Interprofessional Education (IPE) event organized at Qatar University.

University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) students participated in a stimulating Interprofessional Education event organized at Qatar University on Feb. 15. Students actively engaged in discussion and problem-solving alongside students from eight different health professions; biomedical sciences, dental medicine, nutrition, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and public health.  

For these third-year students, the goal of this interactive session was to focus on roles and responsibilities of the various health professions and how each member of the health-care team contributes to maintain patient safety, minimize medical errors, and improve patient outcomes. Students explored and discussed perceived misconceptions of their profession and its potential impacts on the team environment and patient care.

Through a team approach, students were given the task to identify points of breakdown in communication through an interactive group discussion about a real-life patient case. With the assistance of experienced facilitators, they used role clarification, communication, patient-centred care, and shared decision-making as a strategy to identify ways to prevent communication breakdown and medical errors through the use of effective interprofessional collaboration.  

Interprofessional Education (IPE) has long been an integral part of the UCQ student journey to becoming a nurse. Through increasing research-based evidence, it is understood that teamwork and collaboration amongst health-care professionals yields safer patient care and better patient outcomes.

“Through experiential learning and reflective practice, our students can approach their transition into nursing practice as a valuable team member and collaborator, ultimately making a positive impact on patient-centred care and better outcomes,” says Dr. Deborah White, dean and professor at UCQ.

At UCQ, interprofessional education has been woven into the curriculum and can also be found throughout theory, lab, simulation, and clinical rotations. UCQ students are given exposure and hands-on opportunities to gain confidence and competence in establishing their role as a nurse amongst a multidisciplinary health-care team.

“IPE was an excellent learning experience for all the students,” says Tabarak Gulrez, a third-year student at UCQ and a participant in Qatar University’s IPE event. “Personally, I feel that collaborating with different students from other professions was a great chance to learn about the significance of an interprofessional relationship.

Effective communication within the team is definitely key in providing the best patient care and satisfaction.

According to the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, "Interprofessional education is the opportunity for nursing students to collaborate with non-nursing professionals for effective team-based care."

UCQ students are given opportunities to engage in IPE activities at host universities, thus providing a stimulating and interactive learning environment to learn with, about, and from a diverse share of health-care professional students from around Qatar. 

Students across 14 health-care programs from four health-care universities including UCQ, Qatar University (Health Sciences Colleges), Weill Cornell College of Medicine and the University of Doha of Science and Technology participate in interactive IPE events. IPE activities are designed to develop students’ competencies in role clarification, interprofessional communication, patient-centred care and shared decision-making.

IPE enriches the student journey beyond the classroom and campus experience and is an important and positive contributor to a nursing student’s growth and development. It is instrumental as they become successful graduates and enter the nursing workforce. IPE exposes health-professional students to diverse perspectives and approaches to patient care, the skills to communicate effectively with patients, families and health-care professionals, and promotes a culture of lifelong learning and collaboration throughout their careers. Ultimately, the impact of effective collaborative skills is in the success of patient outcomes and quality of care.