Introduction: Medical care for older adults is often quite complex, as individuals may have multiple health concerns that require medications, therapy, and a variety of treatment modalities. To achieve positive health outcomes, care for older adults must be coordinated and comprehensive, and this often requires effective interprofessional collaboration. In response to the need for strengthened education in geriatric teamwork, faculty have developed, implemented, and refined an interprofessional geriatrics assessment elective course. Methods: This simulated standardized patient (SP) case (a component of the course) introduces an 82-year-old female and her adult child/caregiver just after the patient is transferred from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility. Student teams receive a hospital discharge note to discuss in preparation for the interprofessional team assessment. After the encounter is over, the SPs and the faculty members give the students verbal feedback, and the experience is debriefed. The student teams are required to write and present a comprehensive, coordinated care plan describing findings and recommendations that reflect all of the team members’ expertise in an integrated manner. Results: At the conclusion of the course the students complete a team effectiveness survey. Student written feedback on the course has consistently commented that the standardized patient assessments are the best portion of the course. Their feedback has also indicated that they feel more confident with evaluating geriatric patients and working as an interprofessional team. Discussion: This course has led to development of curricular changes and additional patient care services. Interprofessional faculty teaching together in this course has led to development of additional coordinated interprofessional clinical patient care service at the University’s Senior Health primary care clinic.
- Communicate as an effective member of an interprofessional team.
- Demonstrate emerging collaborative skills while developing a patient-centered care plan.
- Describe the unique perspective, value, contributions, and responsibilities that health care professionals bring to the geriatric interprofessional team.
- Demonstrate the ability to collaborate with the patient and family as well as develop an understanding of the potential barriers to communication with geriatric patients including health literacy, cultural barriers, cognitive, psychosocial, and physical impairments.
- Explore and develop an understanding of the ethical dilemmas that arise in the care of older adults and manage conflicts that may occur from different perspectives of team members.
- Identify and develop effective teamwork skills and strategies essential for interprofessional geriatric care.
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