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Interdisciplinary education seeks to improve palliative care
Date:2/22/2013

ancer patients from time of diagnosis throughout the trajectory of the illness."

"Students often are educated in silos and have no idea how to work together in professional teams, and this is why we don't always provide appropriate care for patients and their families," said Carla Hermann, PhD, RN, project co-investigator and UofL School of Nursing professor. "What we have developed is what we believe to be an ideal model, not just for palliative care, but for many areas in the health professions."

The curriculum includes three components: on-line case-based learning designed to teach students core concepts of palliative care, interdisciplinary case management experiences (ICME) and clinical experiences that include a reflective writing exercise.

The web-based modules include topics related to roles of each team member, pain and symptom management, communication, spiritual dimensions of care, and grief and loss. Each module integrates core concepts when providing care to a particular patient. The on-line segments were created in an interactive software program that link to videos, websites and learning activities.

During the ICME session, teams of students from each of the four disciplines meet to consider a patient case, share information and develop a care plan based on simulated interactions between a patient, family members and treatment team members. The final step in the iCOPE course places students in clinical settings where they observe the care of a patient with a serious illness and write a paper evaluating the care and how it may have impacted them personally. Students from each discipline share and discuss their experiences in small groups.

"Our goal is to graduate students who create the demand for these interdisciplinary teams because they have learned the value of what other professionals can bring to the table as it relates to patient care," Pfeifer said.

Pfeifer hopes the program eventually wil
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Contact: Julie Heflin
julie.heflin@louisville.edu
502-852-7987
University of Louisville
Source:Eurekalert

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