The College of Allied Health Sciences will hold its third annual Mid-Collegiate Touch Point Conference Friday, Jan. 24, bringing together the college’s entire junior undergraduate class for a day of interprofessional exposure and learning.
The conference was created as a bridge between the students’ classroom-focused freshman and sophomore years and their last two years of study, where many programs offer clinical experiences.
In the day-long conference, students sit in interprofessional groups to review and discuss a case study with a faculty facilitator. As was the case last year, the students will learn about a patient case that hits close to home.
In five videos, they will hear from Alison and Tim Delgado, who experienced a devastating accident in October of 2010 when Alison, then a pediatric resident at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, was hit by a van while on a bike ride. Tim, an emergency medicine resident at UC Medical Center, was on the Air Care helicopter that flew to his wife that day.
Alison’s recovery included weeks in the intensive care unit, months of recovery and a setback in which she suffered a burst aneurysm that placed her back in the hospital.
In sections stretching from the initial accident to long-term recovery, students watch videos of the Delgados and their allied health caregivers discussing the case, including Alison’s hematologist, nutritionist, physical therapist, speech pathologist and social worker.
"Going into the conference, the students don’t know what to expect,” says Gideon Labiner, assistant professor-educator of analytical and diagnostic sciences. "But during the discussions after each video, they find themselves in interdisciplinary conversations, explaining their profession and its role to their peers—and learning about other allied health professions. The Delgados’ story draws them into the conversation.”
This year, organizers will measure students’ understanding of the conference objectives before and after the five discussions. With an IRB-approved protocol, faculty can then study the conference’s impact and present it to other educators.
Christine Lottman, associate professor–educator of social work, says the conference prepares students for their junior and senior years, when many will go out into the community and interact with patients, families and clinic teams as part of their training.
"We’re trying to teach them how to communicate effectively and identify their own strengths for the common good,” she says. "I don’t think we can do this too much before their community experiences.”