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Nursing, dental hygiene students team up for new Interprofessional Education experience

(December 18, 2018) - Nursing and dental hygiene students teamed up this fall for a unique co-educational experience to better understand each other’s profession. The College of Health launched the inaugural Interprofessional Education (IPE) program at Clayton State University, offering a new way for students to learn about healthcare.

Interprofessional education experience

On Oct. 16 and Oct. 18 of 2018, undergraduate nursing students visited the Clayton State University dental hygiene clinic to instruct the dental hygiene students on taking patients’ vitals (blood pressure, pulse, respiration and temperature).

Dental hygiene vitals competency exams were emailed to the nursing students several weeks before the IPE. The nursing students provided invaluable background information on how to accurately take vitals on patients, which helped the dental hygiene students prepare for the exams. A total of 27 dental hygiene students and 16 nursing students participated in the experience.

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with the nursing students,” said junior dental hygiene student Claire Sanchez. “We worked well together, and the nursing students were very informative and supportive during the learning experience. Overall, I believe the Interprofessional Educational experience was a success.”

IPE is an effective form of learning as it occurs when students from two or more different healthcare professions learn with, from, and about each at certain points of their professional pre-licensure education.

According to the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library, “IPE adds value to professional education by enhancing respect for the contributions of all professions; and, by providing training in and modeling of quality interprofessional teamwork.  Inadequate interprofessional teamwork has been implicated in poor patient outcomes.”  

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