Students Take First Place at National Interprofessional Competition
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Students Take First Place at National Interprofessional Competition

Written by Beth Phillips

A team of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) students recently placed first in the CLARION National Case Study Competition in Minnesota. First-year nursing students Jessica Kirkendall and Connor Larson, and second-year medical student Michael Song, received a $7,500 Premier Richard Norling Scholarship.

CLARION is led by the University of Minnesota, where student teams from different health care professions, representing universities across the U.S., compete to resolve a fabricated health care error. Nine universities participated in this year’s competition, including the University of Missouri, Dartmouth College and the University of South Carolina.

“Our students clearly demonstrated at nationals that TTUHSC has quality faculty who can provide students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for today’s complex health care systems,” said course facilitator Cindy Acton, DNP, R.N. “There is no doubt in my mind that through TTUHSC’s interprofessional education initiatives, TTUHSC graduates will take leading roles in creating better health care systems.”

In 2009, TTUHSC implemented a Quality Enhancement Plan focusing on interprofessional teamwork. The plan was created in response to a requirement by the university’s regional accreditation agency to support the effectiveness of the learning environment, promoting student learning and accomplishing the institution’s mission. Participation in CLARION was one of the strategies to promote interprofessional teamwork.

TTUHSC began enrolling in CLARION in 2010. By 2011, an online course, Root-Cause Analysis for Interprofessional Team Members, was offered to promote individual knowledge and skill acquisition related to root-cause analysis, quality improvement, patient safety and health care communication. The course is supported by local professionals who provide their expertise.

This year, TTUHSC opened the course to all students on all campuses. Administration has also made interprofessional education (IPE) a priority. All incoming students in the fall are required to participate in a IPE common core curriculum to ensure all graduates possess the knowledge and skills to work collaboratively with other health professionals to provide safe, high-quality and patient-centered care.

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