Training the health professionals of tomorrow
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.”