Author(s): Dr. Amy L. Sullivan and Dr. Peter Giroux
Abstract Hypothesis: Knowledge, comfort level, and competency with wheelchair transfers, vital signs, and oral care with dental hygiene (DH) and occupational therapy (OT) students will be enhanced bas ed on this interprofessional education (IPE) learning opportunity. Method: A laboratory hands-on clinical experience was specifically designed for collaboration between DH and OT professors and 2nd year DH/OT students. Pre and post tests surveys as well as competency check-off by professors were utilized as outcome measures for this experimental, cross-sectional, quantitative design. Outcome: Pre and post tests revealed improvement in all areas through descriptive analysis. After this IPE, 100% of DH students reported feeling average or above average in knowledge of wheelchairs, comfort level with a wheelchair patient, and performance of wheelchair transfers. OT students (100%) also reported feeling average or above average in knowledge of oral care, comfort level of denture clients, tooth brushing performance, and vital signs. Additionally, all DH/OT collaborative teams successfully completed the competency check offs by the DH and OT professors. Conclusion: Students from each of the professions take with them a mutual respect for each other’s profession and healthcare team. These shared values have been practiced at the University between DH and OT for over 10 years.