On June 5th over 80 new students, enrolled in Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy or Physician Assistant programs, gathered on one of CUW’s expansive lawns and immediately learned the value of teamwork. A dozen CUW faculty facilitators helped these students engage in a game of “blind dodge ball.” Students are paired, with one student able to ‘see’ and the other ‘blindfolded’ and they must communicate with one another verbally as they face another pair of students. The goal: the blindfolded students must be instructed to hit one another by the ‘seeing’ students – when this happens points are awarded.
Needless to say, students with the best communication normally score the most points, although there is some luck involved as well!. This event is part of new student orientation and also serves to introduce these future health professional to important team-based ideas and the value of interprofessional communication. Students “huddle” to discuss strategies and “debrief” after the event to talk about what went right or wrong, how they would do things differently, and so on. The goal is to introduce them to these TeamStepps concepts very early on in their training. TeamStepps is a nationally recognized system of communication that has been clinically shown to reduce improve communication between healthcare works and thus reduce medical errors as well as improve patient safety and satisfaction.
Concordia University of Wisconsin has several ‘master trainers’ in TeamStepps, who have completed the necessary workshops and can train students, faculty and other professionals in these skills and concepts. This yearly event is a very important first step for these students who will also team up with pharmacy, nursing, athletic training and social work students during the fall and spring semesters for additional interprofessional events and workshops.
If you are interested in TeamStepps training or interprofessional education please contact IPE@CUW.edu for more information.
Office of IPE @ CUW