Interprofessional education for students of the health professions: The “Seamless Care” model
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"Seamless Care" was one of 21 grants awarded by Health Canada to inform policymakers of the effectiveness of interprofessional education in promoting collaborative patient-centred practice among health professionals. The "Seamless Care" model of interprofessional education was designed with input from three Faculties at Dalhousie University (Medicine, Dentistry and Health Professions). The design was grounded in relevant learning theories--Social Cognitive Theory, Self-efficacy, Situated Learning theory and Constructivism. The intervention was informed by principles of active learning, problem-based learning, reflection and role modeling. The primary goal of Seamless Care was to develop students' interprofessional patient-centred collaborative skills through experiential learning. Fourteen student teams, each including one student from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry and dental hygiene, learned with, from and about each other while they were mentored in the collaborative care of patients transitioning from acute care to the community. Student teams providing collaborative care assisted patients experiencing a chronic illness to become more active in managing their health through development of self-management and decision-making skills. This paper describes the Seamless Care model of interprofessional education and discusses the theoretical underpinnings of this experiential model of interprofessional education designed to extend classroom-based interprofessional education to the clinical setting.
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