Wright State University nursing students now have an opportunity to work alongside medical and pharmacy students as well as Kettering Medical Center staff in the new Interprofessional Dedicated Education Unit (IDEU) program designed to give students from different disciplines real-world clinical practice.
The project involves the Wright State University-Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health (CONH), the Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine, Cedarville University School of Pharmacy and Kettering Medical Center. It was launched as a pilot project during the 2015 spring semester and is continuing this semester. The IDEU is located in the Kettering Medical Center’s trauma unit.
Rosalie Mainous, dean of the College of Nursing and Health, said she is excited to have “the opportunity to work with Kettering Medical Center. They’ve been a tremendous partner.”
Mainous hopes that IDEU will give the patients in the Dayton region a better experience.
Kettering personnel, including trauma nurses, surgeons and staff pharmacists, have been trained as clinician educators and teach and mentor the students. They evaluate and have an active role with the students.
The IDEU project integrates two concepts: a Dedicated Education Unit (DEU) and Interprofessional Education (IPE). The DEU is a dedicated unit of staff to create a learning environment where students maximize their clinical experience and the staff are empowered in their teaching role. The IPE is focused on bringing multiple disciplines together as a team to learn from and with each other.
“It brings together the best of two educational strategies — the dedication of a unit to support our nursing students with well-trained preceptors and the addition of an interprofessional teaching/learning environment that’s critical to the success of the health professions,” said Mainous, who developed the IDEU model locally.
“When these two concepts come together, everyone wins, especially the patients we serve,” said Cheryl Waker, nurse researcher for the Kettering Health Network, who collaborated with leaders from Wright State and Cedarville University to design a study of the concept. “With the IDEU, we anticipate developing higher functioning clinical teams who deliver great care, which will improve patient quality outcomes.”
In order to participate in this program, nursing students must have senior status, take the senior capstone course and have at least a 3.0 GPA. Cedarville Pharm.D. students must be in their final year of clinical rotations and medical students must be taking a surgical elective.
The nursing 10-credit course requires 200 hours at the hospital, 24 hours in the simulation lab and class once a week for two hours over the course of the semester.
The students must meet their specific course requirements in addition to interprofessional activities.
Nursing students work throughout the semester and are assigned and supervised by a clinician educator or preceptor.
The IDEU concept includes a rotation through the emergency department so students can see the continuity of care.
Pharmacy and medical students work one-month rotations. All of the students work as a team and participate in grand rounds and interprofessional exercises. Each week, the team is led by a different member of the faculty — one week from medicine, then nursing, then pharmacy.
All students within the three different disciplines work in the Kettering Medical Center trauma unit. The trauma unit requires a high level of interprofessional assessment, management discussion, and collaboration. Learning activities include trauma rounds, case reviews, treatment options, simulation scenarios, and review of trauma studies, Waker said.
“I worked with all types of patients with different traumas. I continued to improve my communication with the trauma team,” said an IDEU student participant. “Every week, I feel like I am becoming more of a nurse and more confident in my skills.”
All three disciplines overlap and work together, especially on interdisciplinary days.
One IDEU student participant said, “I have learned a lot about teamwork. … It has given me a new outlook on all the work that goes through on the different sides to provide safe, excellent care in order to get the patient back to a healthy state. I will continue to work on my collaboration with the health care team in hopes of improving my role as a nurse and providing the best care possible to my patients.”
The Kettering Medical Center staff and Wright State faculty said the program has already made a difference in the confidence and work of the students.
In the beginning of the program, Douglas Paul, director of the trauma program at the Kettering Medical Center and clinical assistant professor at Wright State’s Boonshoft School of Medicine, noticed how initially uncertain the students felt in their roles and were naïve about how to be a successful clinician. In time, he saw how students were able to distinguish the most important information from patients and how to be successful during their rounds.
“You’re helping to be a better patient advocate,” Paul said.
Cedarville pharmacy students are eager to continue to participate and learn alongside Wright State students and Kettering medical staff.
Aleda Chen, the vice chair and assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Cedarville University, said, “The pharmacy students bring their clinical knowledge about medications and their skills in managing medication therapy to the team to assist in providing optimal therapeutic outcomes.”
Participating students gain experience and knowledge.
Nursing students on the IDEU have the advantage of being immersed in their clinical experience with a clinician educator, interacting closely with other disciplines and participating in the unit’s staff meetings and principal investigator’s initiatives.
“The experience gives the student a chance to see what it would be like to work on a particular unit, as well as the employer to see which students would make great potential employees,” Waker said.
This is the first time Kettering Medical Center, Wright State and Cedarville have collaborated.
Students participating during the fall semester are experiencing a few changes. Pharmacy students’ participation will expand from one day a week to five. Students will have more time in the emergency room.
“I hope the core research team that we created will continue to test innovative ideas and programs that will improve the health care of our community,” Waker said.