Thammasat University initiated Inter-professional Education (IPE) Project for Students from 7 Health Faculties

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Nowadays, people are facing with multiple complicated health problems. Treatment and healthcare need to adapt to these changes. Therefore, the World Health Organization is aware of these changes and encourages an action on inter-professional education and collaborative practice.

Inter-professional Education is created for healthcare learners in order to study through each other’s experience and viewpoint of other fields of study under the same circumstances. It results in “the improvement of patient’s health income”.

TU’s deputies from 7 Faculties of Health including Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Allied Health Science, Faculty of Public Health, Faculty of Pharmacy, and The Chulabhorn International College of Medicine agree to institute committees of Inter-professional Education. “Inter-professional Education or IEP project” was carried on in 2nd quarter this year.  As of the end of July, 2019, 28 graduates from 7 faculties have signed up for the project.

Lecturer M.D. Wisree Wayurakul, President of Inter-professional Education committee, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, states that at the present, taking care of one patient requires knowledge and skills from multi-professional education. Therefore, we initiate IPE program as a collaborative practice in healthcare.

“IPE Program” is designed to divide students into a group of 4-6 people. Students will learn with patients and people in the area under the supervision of professor. They will learn from various real case studies of patients in Thammasat University Hospital. There is ICU patients, bedridden patients, patients with amputation, OPD patients, and patients in communities including bedridden, disabilities, elders, and patients with chronic diseases. Students will learn that each type of patient require different treatment and remedy. Each group of students will come up with a plan and activity to do with the patients for 3-5 times. Experts, professors and students will research and analyse treatment method. Besides, they will present their findings and discussion to representative from each group. It helps students to work as a group in a collaborative manner and comprehend work from other fields of study which leads to better cohesion in work.

Lect. M.D. Wisree adds that as IPE is successful in 2019, the committees of Inter-professional Education decide to carry on IPE program. The committees will use students and professor suggestion to improve the program.

Asst. Prof. Kaysorn Sampaothong, Professor at the Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University says that IPE program is an innovative strategy to provide collaborative teamwork as students will learn from professional training. It is beneficial for students when they go to work as doctors will have to work with a nurse. In other words, a dentist can give patients suggestions on how to maintain oral health.

IEP program was carried out during March until April 2019. It was a voluntary and free of charge program. There was a group work and group activity that included students from each year in order to create maximum exchange from each field of study. The program was placed in 4 locations. 1.Thammasat University Hospital. 2. Applied Thai Traditional Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine,Thammasat University. 3. Communities around ATTM TU. 4. Communities around Thammasat University, Rangsit campus.

Asst. Prof. Kaysorn also says that we have evaluated the program and see that it was successful. Students are more determined and each group of students shared their learning with others. Students cultivate and learn from interaction with patients. It is a shared learning with other professionals that makes students understand and appreciate other professionals more.

Ms.Treethip Sarasan, a junior year student at the Faculty of Public Health in Health Promotion, states that she is interested in IPE program as she wants to learn from students from other 7 faculties. It was a totally new experience during these 2 months in the program. I had a chance to visit patients and communicate with them which are the things I haven’t done before. In other words, I study in the field of public health so I’ve only worked with people in the community. When I received the patient’s medical history, I analyze the data and seek treatment for that specific condition. To illustrate, we will treat patients with cancer by easing their minds and relaxing them. On the other hand, we can directly treat patients with diabetes, hypertension, and obesity by creating healthy meal plans for them.

Ms. Sariya Yusuk, a junior year student at the Faculty of Public Health in Health Promotion, reveals that IPE program makes me learn from other professionals skills and use them to apply to improve one’s own skills. I have friends from the Faculty of Medicine and The Chulabhorn International College of Medicine so I learn about how to diagnose and treat Coronary Heart Disease patients from them. On the contrary, I am specialized in informing and empowering patients about their health conditions and how to behave after getting the treatment. Therefore, IPE program gives us a chance to learn from each other professionals. I hope that the program could improve and develop its learning method for the next generation.

 The great success of “Interprofessional Education” in IEP program opens new alternative way of learning. It is a pathway to our goal, “the improvement of patient’s health income”.