The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care
The rapid pace at which change is occurring within health care has provided a significant and on-going challenge to schools of allied health nationwide. An innovative program emphasizing multidisciplinary education responds to this challenge by preparing next century's practitioners to function within, and develop an appreciation for a team approach to health care. Allied health faculty at the University of Missouri representing the disciplines of Nuclear Medicine, Radiographic Sciences, and Respiratory Therapy created a multidisciplinary problem-based learning course designed to develop students' learning in the areas of cardiac, pulmonary, and vascular emergency care. The problem-based learning format that was employed utilizes small, multidisciplinary groups of students and a series of carefully selected patient cases. The multidisciplinary student teams employ research, critical analysis, and presentation skills to solve a series of problems related to the case. These problems range from airway stabilization skills to imaging interpretation to radiation safety issues. As medical providers seek to control costs while delivering high quality patient care, the multiskilled practitioner will become increasingly important to the practice of medicine. A practitioner who: has an appreciation of other specialties; has worked in a clinical setting with other allied health practitioners; and possesses the skills to perform multiple tasks within the medical setting, is well suited to take a position in medical practice of the next century. The presentation will report how the curriculum was developed, will reflect on implementation challenges, and examine the course outcomes.