Students from many fields learn older patients’ needs

October 30, 2014

More than 800 health professions students from North Texas universities learned to enhance older patients’ safety through better communication during two days of activities at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

Although the event had been planned for months, it was especially timely, said David Farmer, PhD, Director of Interprofessional Education at UNTHSC.

"A crisis such as the Ebola infections in Dallas emphasizes the criticality of communication," he said.

For Anthony Nguyen, a first-year pharmacy student, the UNTHSC exercise was a first.

"My education so far hadn’t teamed me up with people pursuing careers in other health care fields," said Nguyen, who is pursuing a PharmD degree in the UNT System College of Pharmacy on the UNTHSC campus. "It’s good to learn to talk to each other."

In one of several sessions, students worked in interprofessional groups of eight to 10 that included pharmacy, medicine, public health, physician assistant studies and physical therapy from UNTHSC; nursing from the TCU Harris College of Nursing; and dietetics from Texas Woman’s University. The groups rotated through stations where they worked hands-on with such geriatric issues as falls risks, cognitive impairment, multiple medications and functional impairments such as arthritis, deafness and vision problems.

Donning awkward work gloves, Vaseline-smeared eyeglasses and earplugs to simulate old-age limitations, the students attempted to button a shirt, read a prescription label and load a weekly pill dispenser.

"You really learn what it’s like when you have to do it," said Ayeshi Irani, a first-year student in the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Discussing actions to take in specific situations, such as when a patient mentions a medication error, Martha Rew, TWU Dietetic Internship Director, emphasized that a dietitian should share the information with every member of the patient’s health care team – nurse, physician and others.

Other sessions also involved TCU students of social work, athletic training and speech language pathology.

Communication among health care providers in various fields is crucial to preventing medical mistakes and improving patient safety. That’s why UNTHSC is partnering with other universities and community organizations to provide extraordinary interprofessional education.   

Dr. Sid O'Bryant
Early findings of innovative study of Alzheimer’s among diverse populations available to dementia researchers

  A growing trove of data to help scientists understand the biology of Alzheimer’s disease among diverse populations within the context of sociocultural, behavioral and environmental factors is now available through the Institute for Translational Research at The University of North Te...Read more

Jun 22, 2021

Vic Holmes, Mpas, Edd, Pa C Assistant Professor
HSC Pride: Increased pronoun use is an emerging trend among health professionals

By Diane Smith-Pinckney The embroidery on Vic Holmes’ black scrubs identify him as a physician assistant and an ally to LGBTQ+ patients. The words, stitched under a rainbow-colored Caduceus pin and near his heart, read: “Vic Holmes, PA-C, He/Him/His, Family Medicine.” Pronouns are...Read more

Jun 21, 2021

Hsc Katie Pelch
Public health scientist lends expertise to national database addressing safer use of chemicals in our environment

By Sally Crocker Katie Pelch, PhD, wants you to know what’s in our environment and how the chemicals we’re exposed to every day may affect our health. Dr. Pelch is a part-time Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, in the HSC School of Public Health (SPH), where...Read more

Jun 21, 2021

Hsc Tcom Gold Humanism Society Inductees Fc
TCOM Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society welcomes new inductees 

By Steven Bartolotta The humanistic side of medicine is alive and well at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The TCOM Chapter of the Arnold P Gold Foundation inducted 45 students and four faculty members into the Gold Humanism Honor Society on the campus of The University of North Texas H...Read more

Jun 15, 2021