Train­ing the health pro­fes­sion­als of to­mor­row

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For more than four decades, North York Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal ( NYGH) and its staff have played an ac­tive role in teach­ing fu­ture pro­fes­sion­als across the health- care spec­trum.

In 2014 the hos­pi­tal cen­tral­ized its ap­proach, form­ing the Cen­tre for Education to bet­ter in­te­grate train­ing with a phi­los­o­phy of pa­tien­tand fam­ily-cen­tred care.

Dis­play­ing yet an­other ex­am­ple of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­yond its own walls, NY- GH’s Cen­tre for Education part­ners with 36 aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing the Univer­sity of Toronto, which sends stu­dents to train at the fa­cil­ity. Last year alone i t wel­comed al­most 700 med­i­cal stu­dents and res­i­dents in train­ing and 1,000 nurs­ing stu­dents, as well par­tic­i­pants span­ning 34 other pro­fes­sions.

“The Cen­tre for Education helped us to re­think and reim­age what in­ter-pro­fes­sional care looks like,” says Rick Penciner, emer­gency physi­cian and di­rec­tor of med­i­cal education. “We have elim­i­nated the med­i­cal and nurs­ing school si­los. To­day it’s about learn­ing in real terms on the front line and bring­ing stu­dents from dif­fer­ent pro­fes­sions to­gether to learn from one other.”

Re­search shows that those who are teach­ers in the health- care sys­tem de­liver the best in pa­tient care, adds Dawne Bar­bieri, di­rec­tor of in­ter- pro­fes­sional prac­tice, re­search and education at NYGH, and co- di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre for Education. “As physicians and nurses teach and in­ter­act with learn­ers in real- life sit­u­a­tions, pa­tient care is de­liv­ered to the high­est qual­ity us­ing the best ev­i­dence avail­able.”

This new ap­proach to learn­ing is not only help­ing to build ca­pac­ity, it’s break­ing down bar­ri­ers at the bed­side, she says. “Nurses, doc­tors and psy­chol­o­gists are in­ter­act­ing and build­ing strong re­la­tion­ships. When they re­turn to a clin­i­cal set­ting, they are able to col­lab­o­rate more ef­fec­tively on pa­tient is­sues.”

On the other side of the ta­ble, one of the big­gest roles the cen­tre plays is in sup­port­ing teacher and fac­ulty de­vel­op­ment. Pro­grams for staff and physicians range from Teach­ing 101 to more ad­vanced de­vel­op­ment for those look­ing to earn re­lated ac­cred­i­ta­tion such as a masters of education.

Adding to the bank of knowl­edge is also im­por­tant. “We con­stantly re­view the cur­ricu­lum, eval­u­ate and ap­proach education in a sys- tem­atic way, and de­ter­mine what needs to be done dif­fer­ently,” notes Penciner. “We then dis­sem­i­nate the in­for­ma­tion through jour­nals and con­fer­ences to add to the body of knowl­edge for train­ing the health pro­fes­sion­als of to­mor­row.”

Sup­port­ing ex­ist­ing part­ner­ships and fos­ter­ing new re­la­tion­ships out­side the hos­pi­tal is ex­tremely im­por­tant to the fu­ture of the Cen­tre for Education, he adds. “To be suc­cess­ful in an or­ga­ni­za­tion you must con­tin­u­ously look out­ward to trends and op­por­tu­ni­ties from which new pro­grams and ideas can be gen­er­ated.”

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