Background: There is growing evidence supporting the many benefits of interprofessional education (IPE) amongst students of varying medical professions. Since anatomy education is necessary for all healthcare pro-viders, an anatomy laboratory can provide an excellent environment for IPE activities. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of maintaining an anatomy laboratory, many programs do not have access to learn in a cadaver-based environment. The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of an interprofessional teaching and learning opportunity between doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) students and certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) students during a cadaver-based anatomy review course. Methods: A group of DPT students taught different sections of clinically relevant anatomy to the CRNA students under the direction and provision of faculty from both programs. At the completion of the course, students from both disciplines were given an anonymous survey to complete regarding their overall experience in a cadaver-based setting as well as their thoughts regarding the interprofessional teaching/learning opportunity with students in another healthcare discipline. Results: Of the 11 DPT students and 60 CRNA students who completed a survey, 82.0% of the DPT students and 86.0% of the CRNA students felt they better understood another healthcare profession after the experience and that IPE is beneficial for other healthcare professions. One hundred percent of the CRNA students found it beneficial to have a cadaver-based anatomy course and felt the course enhanced their three-dimensional understanding of human anatomy, which they believed would be beneficial in future anesthesia procedures. In addition, 100% of the DPT students agreed that teaching the cadaver-based anatomy course helped with their own retention of human anatomy, and 82.0% felt that by teaching the course, it helped improve their communication skills with other healthcare providers. Conclusions: The results suggest that exposure to anatomy through cadaver-based learning for CRNA students may be valuable to their clinical understanding of anatomy. Additionally, the results support the benefits of IPE to include: learned respect of fellow colleagues, exposure to another profession’s expertise, decreased barriers to communication and a new understanding of how two varying professions can work together clinically.
Cite this paper
Williams, C. , Gensheimer, C. , Halle, J. and Moss, P. (2018). Student Perspectives of an Interprofessional Education Experience for Nurse Anesthetist Students and Physical Therapy Students in a Cadaver-Based Anatomy Review Course. Open Access Library Journal, 5, e4782. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1104782.
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