Brandman DNP and Chapman pharmacy students compare career roles
When white-jacketed Chapman University pharmacy students teamed up with Doctorate of Nursing Practice students in Brandman University’s cafeteria recently, the result was lots of noise, some running and, ultimately, a lively exchange of information.
The first ever interprofessional education session for the programs brought together 40 students from each group to learn from each other. The Brandman students were all first-year BSN to DNP students. The Chapman students were in either their second or third year of the university’s three-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program.
Teams of students comprising four from each university competed to see who could answer questions about their programs’ commonalities and differences with the most speed and accuracy. Students huddled, scribbled answers and then scampered across the cafeteria to move their markers along a race course.
As both Chapman Assistant Professor Kimberly Won and Brandman Assistant Professor Sonia Luckey pointed out, teamwork and communication are core competencies of both programs. The competition was designed to highlight both as well as build understanding of the skills, preparation, knowledge and abilities needed in each profession.
The group members started by identifying four things they all had in common, either professionally or personally, moved on to how their roles potentially overlap, the difference and similarities in their educations and then to the nuances of licensing, certification and credentialing for each profession.
Nearly all the students said they had worked with people in the other profession. Even so, they quickly found there were many things they didn’t know about the scope and limits of each profession and how those vary depending on which state they work in and where they work – a hospital, community setting or private practice.
“I think this gave us a broader understanding of their educational base and their increasing role in the healthcare field,” said DNP student Sara Fletcher, who comes in to contact with pharmacists in her existing role as a nurse.
DNP student Roberto Stefano Gaitan said the biggest benefit was increasing trust between the professions, which he said benefits patients. “There was a lot they didn’t know about us.”
Once the teams had finished their competition, faculty members from both universities provided examples of how they work with each other in professional settings. They stressed the importance of building a personal network to continue building on the exchange of information.
“Sometimes we stump each other as we try to find solutions together,” said Assistant Professor James Morgan, DNP, who recalled working with a pharmacist to make sure that medication for a psychiatric patient didn’t conflict with the patient’s chemotherapy treatment.
“Interdisciplinary professional education is a necessity. It’s important to start while you’re still students so you can learn together,” said Won.
The more immediate reward for the winning team turned out to be emoji stress balls – something every student, nurse and pharmacist needs, said Luckey as she handed out the prizes.
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