Reflection paper Attending interprofessional education

Table of Contents

Attending interprofessional education (IPE) allowed me to engage in interprofessional communication with fellow healthcare students, developing my ability to be part of a health care team. IPE helps students to develop teamwork, collaboration and communication prior to entering their chosen field to create safer, more effective healthcare experiences for patients. In my IPE group, the other students that were there consisted of three physician assistants (PAs), two occupational therapists (OTs), one other nurse, and one pharmacist.

During IPE, I was also able to further develop the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) nursing end of program student learning outcomes. The outcomes are as follows: professionalism, safe practice, communication, culture, care across the lifespan, health promotion, and nursing process (DMACC, 2018, p.20). Through the use and development of these concepts, I will be a more efficient, safe practicing nurse.

Roles and Responsibilities

As a registered nurse (RN), my role is to provide holistic care to patients by coordinating, carrying out, and monitoring patients’ care and providing education to patients and families. We also perform orders delegated by the physician, such as administering medications, managing IV lines, documenting and maintaining a record of care and communicating with other professionals. Nursing limitations include being unable to order labs, diagnostic tests such as x-rays, and they lack the knowledge to make medical diagnoses and prescribe medications. My role was very different when compared to those of my peers (Taylor, Lillis, Lynn, & LeMone, 2015).PAs are medical providers who examine, diagnose, and treat patients alongside physicians and sometimes surgeons. OTs help patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities by assisting patients to develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working. Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles (Taylor et al., 2015).


Our team had great interprofessional communication. Before the IPE interactions started, our team had already taken it upon ourselves to introduce ourselves and talked about our prospective careers. We also talked about where we were from. Once the actual introductions started, our team was already ahead of the game, so we got to know each other very well. Once the collaborative patient scenarios started, our team was able to effectively and professionally assess and collectively answer the questions associated with each part. We all were able to bring our individual perspectives to the table and brought it all together to paint a larger, more complete picture of the patient. I feel I communicated professionally and effectively during IPE. I was not outspoken, as I normally am during class, and I tried to only speak ideas that were pertinent to the situation. I asked questions and did my part in the facilitation of the discussion.


The teams that stood out to me the most during IPE were the ones that collaborated prior to answering questions and had one representative speak for the group. It just gave the team a feel of crisp composure, like a freshly ironed and starched shirt. These teams’ ideas were well represented because they had been precomposed and were not being thought of on the spot. I felt like our team had two natural leaders who we sort of delegated to answer for our group. We all had a turn to speak during discussion, as we went around the circle and all gave our input as we felt necessary. I felt that I was an effective team member, as I had a unique perspective as a nursing student from DMACC. The other nursing student was from Grandview and said she hadn’t had much time on the floor with patients, doing hands on assessments, or practical nursing application yet.Ethics and ValuesWe placed the patient interests at the center of care as we held discussed the topics and questions. We talked about the patient and his mental health and possible substance abuse and what services we would provide and what our roles in his care would be. We also talked about the top priorities in his care plan would be. We talked about how his mental health might be affecting his physical health. We decided that assessing his airway, breathing, and circulation would be the priority since he had been in a crash and was having pain. After that, pain management would be the focus for the patient. His mental health would also be pertinent, so as a team, we decided that we would put in a referral for a psych evaluation and social services.ProfessionalismThis experience gave me an opportunity to learn more about the other professions I will encounter when I am a nurse. I was able to learn from my team members the roles and responsibilities of PAs, OTs, and pharmacists. All of these members of the health team have very important, but different, roles in patient care, so knowing each member’s responsibilities and how they intersect are pertinent in efficient care. Having a better understanding and team members will help me develop more fruitful interprofessional relationships (Taylor et al., 2015).Safe PracticeIPE gives students an opportunity to learn together, enhance collaboration, and improve health outcomes. I can use the knowledge I gained of other professions to appropriately assess and address the health care needs of patients. This knowledge will allow me to reach out to my colleagues so I can provide the most efficient, safe health care to patients. For example, if I needed information on a specific patient’s medication, I could ask pharmacy, as this is within their frame of reference. Or if a patient was coding, a physician, or PA would be called to run the code. Having a better understanding of my fellow healthcare team members will enable me to engage in safer practice.What I Would Do DifferentlyIf I were to participate in this IPE experience again, I would have brought my laptop so I could write down responses and taken notes during the lecture and during discussion. I really enjoyed the beginning lecture about workplace violence. I would also use my resources to look up any information that I was unsure about. I always like to be prepared. I would have liked to have my laptop so I could have looked up the care across the lifespan to see what kind of physical changes the patient was going through at that age, such as changes in hormones, etc. I would have improved this experience by adding more patient scenarios to go through instead of having the “what do you meme” and so many “get to know the group” activities. I personally felt they were unnecessary and did not facilitate interprofessional learning.Global ConceptsI feel all seven global concepts were met during my IPE experience. I met theprofessionalism concept by showing up at the appointed time, dressed in my DMACC uniform. I demonstrated communication by participating in the small and large group discussions regarding the patient scenario presented. I demonstrated safety by prioritizing when formulating a plan of care for the patient. I used the nursing process by gathering assessment data about the patient and planning the cares and interventions we decided were pertinent as an interprofessional group. We looked at care across the lifespan when assessing the patient’s loss of the role as a parent in his life. We felt that the patient seemed to be going through somewhat of a midlife crisis since he was getting a divorce, was losing his job, and might have a problem with substance abuse (DMACC, 2018, p.20). We addressed culture when discussing how the patient seemed to strongly identify with his role as a parent as husband, since he seemed to be taking the loss of his family hard. We discussed how the divorce and his action might affect his children and home life and decided that a referral to social services would be appropriate to get him connected with resources such as counseling services. This referral can relate to the final concept of health promotion. Social services might also be able to assist the patient in finding a new job and services to help him with his debt related to the accidents and health care he is receiving, considering he probably no longer has health care, as he has lost his job. Social services would also be able to teach him about resources such as local food pantries he could take advantage of if he or his family was in need (DMACC, 2018, p.20).ConclusionI feel that the IPE experience went well for me and my team. I feel that I excelled in the use of the nursing process and health promotion were my areas of strengths during IPE. I am knowledgeable in the field of mental health and was also able to apply my recently acquired nursing knowledge to this scenario to prioritize assessments and interventions for the patient. I feel that I need to work on care across the lifespan and culture as I did not add much to these discussions personally. I did not have much input for this part of the discussion as there didn’t seem to be much information about his culture. Other than that, I felt that this experience went well and was more productive overall that IPE experiences in the past.ReferencesDes Moines Area Community College of Nursing. (2018). Nursing student policy manual 2018-2019. Retrieved from, C., Lillis, C., Lynn, P., & LeMone, P. (2015). Fundamentals of nursing: The art and science of person-centered nursing care. (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health.