Event Title

Patients as Educators: Lessons Learned from an Interprofessional Initiative

Start Date

19-5-2012 10:30 AM

End Date

19-5-2012 10:45 AM

Description

Health care reform around the world has called for interprofessional patient/client-centered practice. Educational programs have responded by creating interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities for students. Health Mentors Programs (HMPs) are examples of IPE initiatives that introduce students to collaboration within the context of interprofessional student teams and community volunteers. The first HMP originated atThomasJeffersonUniversityinPhiladelphiain 2007. A HMP was piloted atDalhousieUniversityin 2010. The focus of this presentation is on the Health Mentors participating in the Dalhousie HMP. Health Mentors are adults with chronic conditions or disabilities living in the community who share their experiences navigating the health care system with small groups of interprofessional students. Exploration of the experiences of Health Mentor volunteers can provide insight into the value of and challenges associated with the potentially meaningful role of 'Mentor'.

This research project aimed to identify positive and negative factors contributing to the Mentors' experiences participating and to understand how involvement in the program has impacted their daily lives. Focus groups were conducted with Health Mentors (N= 30), which were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative inductive thematic analysis was used to identify key themes.

Many Health Mentors described the positive impact of sharing their experiences with interprofessional student teams, which provided the sense of giving back to the community and improving health services for others. Some Health Mentors also describe their experience to be empowering as they narrated their stories of perseverance in the face of many challenges. Along with these positive experiences, Mentors also describe the fine balance required around issues of disclosure, vulnerability and managing anger at the health care system. The results of this study highlight the importance of volunteer preparation for the role ofMentor. These results can inform other programs that draw on community volunteers in the role of educator.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will:

1. Identify two potential opportunities related to volunteer involvement in interprofessional student training programs.

2. Identify two potential risks related to volunteer involvement in interprofessional student training programs.

3. Discuss three key principles that can guide the planning and implementation of similar community-university initiatives to ensure the safety of community patient educator volunteers.

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May 19th, 10:30 AM May 19th, 10:45 AM

Patients as Educators: Lessons Learned from an Interprofessional Initiative

Health care reform around the world has called for interprofessional patient/client-centered practice. Educational programs have responded by creating interprofessional education (IPE) opportunities for students. Health Mentors Programs (HMPs) are examples of IPE initiatives that introduce students to collaboration within the context of interprofessional student teams and community volunteers. The first HMP originated atThomasJeffersonUniversityinPhiladelphiain 2007. A HMP was piloted atDalhousieUniversityin 2010. The focus of this presentation is on the Health Mentors participating in the Dalhousie HMP. Health Mentors are adults with chronic conditions or disabilities living in the community who share their experiences navigating the health care system with small groups of interprofessional students. Exploration of the experiences of Health Mentor volunteers can provide insight into the value of and challenges associated with the potentially meaningful role of 'Mentor'.

This research project aimed to identify positive and negative factors contributing to the Mentors' experiences participating and to understand how involvement in the program has impacted their daily lives. Focus groups were conducted with Health Mentors (N= 30), which were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative inductive thematic analysis was used to identify key themes.

Many Health Mentors described the positive impact of sharing their experiences with interprofessional student teams, which provided the sense of giving back to the community and improving health services for others. Some Health Mentors also describe their experience to be empowering as they narrated their stories of perseverance in the face of many challenges. Along with these positive experiences, Mentors also describe the fine balance required around issues of disclosure, vulnerability and managing anger at the health care system. The results of this study highlight the importance of volunteer preparation for the role ofMentor. These results can inform other programs that draw on community volunteers in the role of educator.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will:

1. Identify two potential opportunities related to volunteer involvement in interprofessional student training programs.

2. Identify two potential risks related to volunteer involvement in interprofessional student training programs.

3. Discuss three key principles that can guide the planning and implementation of similar community-university initiatives to ensure the safety of community patient educator volunteers.