Healthcare is a Team Sport
Athletic Trainers are often the first to see an injury, and often will follow a patient throughout the entire plan of care. This makes the Athletic Trainer an important part of a larger team: ATs can expect to interact with physicians, nurses, surgeons, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, emergency medical personnel and many other allied health professionals as the team delivers a course of treatment. Everyone on the healthcare team must purposefully cooperate when providing care, and this collaboration is at the core of interprofessional education.
What is Interprofessional Education?
Interprofessional education occurs when two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.1 Interprofessional education gives students the opportunity to prepare for future collaborative practice with other healthcare professionals. Effective collaborative practice in healthcare improves patient safety and overall health outcomes.
Interprofessional Education Opportunities
A 2018 study investigating interprofessional education in athletic training concluded that less than 50% of CAATE-accredited professional programs participate in interprofessional education.2 However, the UTA MSAT program offers a variety of interprofessional education opportunities for students. The Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice3 serve as a guide to interprofessional education, which is infused throughout the curriculum. In addition to in-class opportunities to improve communication with other healthcare professionals, every long semester MSAT students are given opportunities to interact with students from other healthcare professions, including nursing, social work, nurse practitioner, physical therapy, physician assistant, medicine, and more.
- World Health Organization (WHO). Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. WHO website. Published 2010. Accessed May 2, 2018.
- Breitbach AP, Eliot K, Cuppett M, Wilson M, Chushak M. The progress and promise of interprofessional education in athletic training programs. Athl Train Educ J. 2018;13(1):57-66.
- Interprofessional Education Collaborative. Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: 2016 Update. Washington, DC: IPEC; 2016.