Friday, January 13, 2012: 2:30 PM-4:15 PM
McPherson Square (Grand Hyatt Washington)
Cluster: Research on Social Work Education
Teri Kennedy, PhD, Arizona State University
The complex nature of geriatric health and behavioral health care practice and related aging policy is better informed through interprofessional input and collaboration. Geriatric practice includes the participation of a team of allied health professionals representing social work, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, nutrition, public health, physical and occupational therapy, and related disciplines. Yet, the literature demonstrates that these disciplines have limited interprofessional learning opportunities during their professional education and do not evidence collaborative practice skills. The development of health/behavioral health policy includes professionals representing social work, public health, business administration, public administration, public policy, and related fields. Yet, these disciplines have little opportunity for interprofessional learning to develop the collaborative skills and a shared knowledge base, including core gerontology content and statistical skills, to effectively inform and shape aging policy and policy practice.
Interprofessional education (IPE) models offer a means to improve skills in collaborative practice, thereby improving the quality of health/behavioral health care for older adults. IPE also offers a roadmap for improving interprofessional collaboration to improve the development of public policy related to the health and behavioral health of older adults. Incorporating IPE strategies is effective in influencing students' values and attitudes toward interprofessional collaboration and improving the interprofessional collaboration skills of allied health practitioners in the delivery and coordination of health/behavioral health services for older adults. These strategies can also facilitate the development of a shared language to inform and facilitate interprofessional collaboration in the evaluation and development of aging policy. After attending this symposium, participants will be able to discuss models of IPE to prepare students for interprofessional geriatric health/behavioral health practice and policy in health/behavioral health, palliative care, prison, and policy practice settings, and gain insights from current educators regarding challenges and opportunities in implementing IPE within the social work curriculum.
* noted as presenting author