For three years in a row, Drs. Brenda Merritt and Marion Brown from the Schools of Occupational Therapy and Social Work have integrated an interprofessional health education (IPHE) learning assignment into their respective courses. Within this assignment, groups of occupational therapy and social work students work collaboratively to develop an interprofessional plan to address identified challenges within a particular field of practice (e.g., sex trade workers, newcomers to Canada, older adults with dementia, wheelchair users in Halifax, Africville). Each interprofessional group works collaboratively to create a poster presentation to communicate profession specific orientations to the field of practice and interprofessional strategies to address identified health challenges encountered by the client population. Additionally, the students share their reflective experiences of working in an interprofessional group.
During the fall of 2011, the student groups had two face-to-face encounters during class time to meet their interprofessional peers, learn about each other’s scope of practice, discuss profession specific analyses, and formalize a client-centered, interprofessional plan to address the identified challenges in
the field of practice. The assignment culminated with a poster presentation, wherein approximately 18 interprofessional groups of students presented their posters to peers, faculty, and guests. Each year the poster presentation is filled with energy and enthusiasm.