An innovative experiential interprofessional education activity using physical therapy students to teach medical students how to safely handle patients

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Abstract

Safe patient handling is important for preventing neuromusculoskeletal strain and injuries in healthcare workers and in patients. Physical Therapists often use their knowledge of proper body mechanics, ergonomic safety, injury and fall prevention to train members of the multidisciplinary health care team in safe patient handling and movement. In order to be effective educators and design appropriate training programs, physical therapists need to be knowledgeable about other healthcare team members’ job duties and work environments. When medical students begin clinical rotations they are confronted with the task of assisting patients to move from the interview chair to the exam table or helping a bedridden patient sit up on the side of the bed and then stand, but these skills are rarely if ever included in the medical curriculum. In order to introduce medical students to safe patient handling and movement techniques we designed a novel experiential interprofessional education (IPE) session in which physical therapy students developed teaching materials and taught medical students how to safely manage patient mobility from bed to standing to chair and from exam table to and from chair. After a single 90-min session, the medical students demonstrated improved knowledge and confidence in safe patient handling and movement skills. In addition, both groups of students interacted professionally and learned about each other's disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100309
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Education and Practice
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

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