Core Competencies from the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) have helped frame the national dialogue on interprofessional education for health care professionals since first released in 2016. The overarching goal is to improve collaborative practice and enhance team-based patient care.
Now the IPEC is launching a review and revision of the 2016 competencies. AARC member Samantha Davis, MS, RRT, RRT-NPS, CHSE, director of clinical education and simulation for the RT program at Boise State University in Boise, ID, represents the AARC on the working group that will take on the task.
Fixing a flawed system
“For years, it was common for health professions students to learn in a silo, meaning they had their own content area and did not interact with each other,” Davis explained. “Over time, we recognized it was a flawed system — how can we prepare future health care professionals to work effectively with other members of the health care team if they aren’t taught to do so?”
That realization led educators to begin incorporating interprofessional education into their programs. Many accrediting bodies, including CoARC, which accredits RT programs, now require students to engage with students from other disciplines during their training.
“To improve patient care, it’s important that we recognize the role and value of our team members, understand communication challenges and how to address them, and work together effectively,” Davis said.
Honored to represent RTs
As the only respiratory therapist on the IPEC panel, which includes members from all 21 health care associations in the collaborative and two health care students, Davis says she feels honored to represent the profession to the other group members. Her primary objective is to make sure they understand the RT’s scope of practice.
“Advocating for what RTs do is important, as many people aren’t fully aware of what we’re capable of,” she said. “Part of the working group is to review current literature that supports the updates to the competencies, so including respiratory care-specific literature is another way that our collective voice can be integrated.”
Davis believes the same challenge will exist for other members of the panel too. The diversity of professionals in the working group will allow them to learn more about what other disciplines do at the bedside and beyond.
Samantha Davis stresses the importance of this work for her fellow RTs.
“When we work as a unit, we identify benefits such as improved patient satisfaction, decreased adverse events, and more comprehensive care,” she said. “The IPEC competencies provide a framework for further development of clinicians. It’s difficult to correct or improve something if we don’t know we’re doing it poorly or that there is a better way.”
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