On Feb. 26, 19 of Belmont’s fourth-year pharmacy students participated in the annual “Interprofessional Team Geriatric Case Training,” an event that ensures health professional students develop skills for working in interprofessional teams, at Meharry Medical College. This is the fifth year Belmont’s College of Pharmacy has been involved in the event.
This experience allows students to develop interprofessional collaborative skills by working as a team on a geriatric case and developing a patient assessment and treatment plan. Faculty experts are available to consult with teams, and students are assigned to observe and rate team dynamics. The program concludes with an interactive general assembly where an interdisciplinary expert panel provides feedback and answers questions. Students receive a certificate for participating in the event.
“This event opened my eyes to not only how significant a pharmacist’s role is in caring for patients, but also how valuable it is to be able to collaborate with other health care professionals.” said fourth year pharmacy student Shelby Starks. “It was very rewarding to come together as a team and know we were all working with a goal of providing the best care for our patient.”
Student Candace Beam said, “My educational experience at Belmont has prepared me to successfully practice in an interdisciplinary environment. This event confirmed my belief that an interdisciplinary approach to treatment is the best way to provide optimal patient care.”
Nearly 400 students studying health disciplines from several local institutions served as members of the interprofessional teams. In addition to pharmacy students from Belmont and Lipscomb Universities, medical students from Meharry, dietetic interns from National HealthCare Corporation and Vanderbilt University, physical therapy students from Tennessee State University (TSU), social work students from TSU and University of Tennessee and family nurse practitioner students from TSU also participated in this event.
“The Meharry event was an overwhelmingly positive experience,” said student Ryan Catlin. “The importance of interdisciplinary care was both exemplified and emphasized. Not only did I gain a great amount of respect for other disciplines, but I acquired even more understanding of our profession’s role in the interdisciplinary team.”
Ashton Beggs, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy, serves on the interdisciplinary faculty planning committee and expert panel for this event. “This is one of the largest interdisciplinary health care-related student events in the country,” Beggs said. “It is exciting to see students engaged in this manner and learning the value of team-based care.”