cute 19-month-old named Claudine stole the show as the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Center for Interprofessional Education (IPE) held its seventh annual IPE Day on April 3.
She joined her parents on a panel with UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, pediatric nurse practitioner and UMB assistant vice president Elsie Stines, DNP, MS, CRNP, and a multidisciplinary group of colleagues who help Perman and Stines in the weekly President’s Clinic, where they first met Claudine, who suffers from a chromosomal abnormality.
As Claudine giggled and played with the panelists, to the delight of the 240 students from all seven UMB schools as well as the University of Maryland, College Park, her parents spoke about the challenges they faced and the relief they experienced after meeting with Perman, a pediatric gastroenterologist, and his interdisciplinary clinic team at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Coping with the demands of a gastric feeding tube after they brought the infant home from the hospital was “stressful, stressful, stressful,” said Claudine’s mother, Annaise Mouamba, who had to leave her job. Without that income, she and husband Samuel Kabwe couldn’t pay all their bills and lost power. The clinic’s team intervened, and the utility restored their service because caring for Claudine’s condition requires electricity.
“I was scared,” said Mouamba. “These are the people who helped us through our journey,” she said, referring to the clinic team as she and her husband expressed their thanks. Their daughter has chromosome 4q deletion, which includes heart problems that cause weakness, which in turn hampers feeding. It’s a complex condition, one requiring experts in many fields.
That is the focus of IPE Day, which enhances students’ knowledge of this emerging collaborative team-based movement in health care, law, and social work.
Mentored by faculty members, IPE Day participants then broke into small groups in which they interacted with one another while pondering the care of a standardized patient who has multiple sclerosis and faces housing and job issues.
Among their goals were to discover how to effectively work and communicate with professionals outside of their areas of study, which specialist skills they can best share with other professionals, and how interprofessional communication can improve quality of care.
IPE Day ended with a debrief led by Center for IPE Director Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing, in which students were asked to comment on how they had been able “to learn with, from, and about one another.”
And in what has become a tradition of IPE Day, Kirschling and Center for IPE co-director David B. Mallott, MD, associate professor at the School of Medicine, presided over a raffle. Winners were able to take home gift cards along with their lessons learned.