DI students
DI students demonstrate

Everyone wants more interprofessional education- feedback about learning last semester


This semester, the Interprofessional Education team has implemented many successful learning opportunities for the medical technology and health students. As always, the team’s mission is to create and implement IPE learning opportunities that help the students learn with, from, and about each other in order to improve the quality of patient/client care. Here are just a few of the highlights from this semester’s activities.

Welcome to Dawson. Welcome to IPE.

Dawson GymThe team designed a group orientation where all new students within the seven medical technology and health technology programs were welcomed to the Dawson community. The main objective of this activity was to help provide a common description of IPE as well as give the students a sense of belonging to a larger entity outside of their program. Right off the top, before the students even entered a classroom in their first semester, they were made aware of the collaborative nature of health care and the importance of teamwork and communication by participating in a team escape room activity.

I do this and you do that

Several Dawson students around a medical bed During the 8th week of the semester, first-year students from five of the disciplines gathered for a learning activity centered on role clarification. The 2-hour activity had students learn more about each other’s disciplines, receive a tour of some of the labs and teaching spaces of each discipline, and consolidate their learnings into a list of commonalities and differences between them.

Rose Gauthier-Villeneuve, first-year Physiotherapy Technology student said: “It was really fascinating and interesting to learn about the other health professions. During the session, we learned how important it is to work with other health professions in order to help our patients. I believe it is really important to learn about the other professions in order for us to succeed in the future.”

Identifying roles within a common case study

Over 320 students from the sector worked in small discipline specific teams to create their intervention on a breast cancer case study. The case study centered on a patient, Sarah Lynn, who has been through a long journey of breast cancer, from diagnosis to remission. See Sarah Lynn’s journey using the following link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckeztx0mzlk

After watching the patient’s journey, students were then tasked with creating a short video demonstrating their discipline specific intervention. Using the Moodle platform, the students were then tasked with sharing their video with their interdisciplinary team so that all members of the team could see each discipline’s intervention and gain a deeper understanding of the role everyone plays. To finish the activity, students were tasked with completing a consolidating crossword activity in order to come away with some of the key takeaways regarding the case.

DI students demonstrate a mammogram exam

Audrey-Anne St-Laurent, a second-year Social Service student, who participated in the Sarah Lynn activity, said “it was really interesting to get to know about what other professions can do and to gain the knowledge that will be useful later on in the field”.

“It was really interesting to get to know exactly where everyone falls in the journey of the patient and to see all these terms that I wouldn’t have known,” said Eden Harell, a second-year Radiation Oncology student. Eden added “normally, when I think of cancer patients, I don’t really think of so many different professional groups. This activity really helped me realize the number of professions needed to help the patient”.

For more comments and feedback on this exciting IPE learning activity, please listen to the podcast episode by using the following link:

Sarah Lynn podcast

Applied Teamwork – A Learning Communities project

Third-year nursing and physiotherapy technology students participated in two 3-hour learning activities during the first half of this semester. During the first session, students explored the key concepts of working in a team, the types of roles typically taken, and how to navigate teamwork when intervening on a diabetic type 2 patient. During the second session, key concepts of cultural safety and motivational interviewing were explored so that students could gain a deeper understanding of how to use teamwork to keep the patient feeling culturally safe while motivating them to follow health protocols. The students then used these concepts during a multidisciplinary simulation where they intervened as an interdisciplinary team on a patient 1-day post orthopaedic operation. Real life actors and group intervention were used in this exciting and in-depth simulation.

Di students gathering around medical bed“Seeing how the same case was approached differently depending on the profession was quite interesting”, said Samuel Boudreau-Carrier, a third-year physiotherapy technology student. “Learning how to collaborate with nursing students and showing a united front when talking to our patient really facilitated both of our interventions. Observing the nursing students’ approach with the patient was very interesting and I will definitely integrate some of those strategies to better my own interactions in my career as a physiotherapy technologist.”

“Working with nursing students gave me insight into what I should expect in the workforce and the multidisciplinary team that comes with treating patients. This activity gave me a greater understanding of this scope of practice in the medical field and how when we come together, our collaboration can offer our patients the best quality of care,” commented Sarah Tripodi, a third-year Physiotherapy Technology student.

Jean-Francois Briere, Physics teacher and member of the Learning Communities coordination team said, “playing the role of a patient gave me the best seat to observe our students perform. I was impressed by how good they were at doing role play. They were helping each other out, giving cues and collaborating across programs. The interaction with soon-to-be professionals from another medical profession forced them to communicate explicitly practices from their own field of study, something that is hard to achieve within a program!”

A big thank you to the Learning Communities for their support in the creation of these learning activities.

IPE Symposium – A day to remember (and repeat:)

First and foremost, a lot of people helped with the success of this learning opportunity for all 170 third-year medical technology and social service students. Thank you to all teachers who accommodated their second-floor forum classrooms on Nov. 11 for the symposium to take place. Along with these teachers, the symposium planning team would like to thank the Student Success Action Plan, Dawson Peace Centre, Sustainable Dawson, Creative Collective for Change, Campus Life and Leadership, Dawson Theatre Program, Office of Academic Development, Entente Canada-Quebec, and both the Academic Dean’s and the Science Medical Studies and Engineering Dean’s offices for their support.

As the weeks have progressed since the symposium, the team has been able to obtain more feedback from both students and teachers alike. Looking at all the feedback, the two short play productions were clearly one of the highlights of the day. Set in a fast-food restaurant, students watched common conflicts between co-workers unfold. From not supporting the newly hired employee, to an employee who never stops singing, to a dynamic between two employees that happen to be married, students were introduced to complex characters and how their personal lives and backstories played a part in their conflicts. The productions, were created, written, directed, and acted by Dawson College Theatre program graduates (from left to right), Audrey-Shana Ferus, Valerie Boisvert, Bryan Ku, and Corbeau Sandoval. Additional characters played by theatre alum Jonathan Parente (not pictured).

Dawson College Theatre program graduates (from left to right), Audrey-Shana Ferus, Valerie Boisvert, Bryan Ku, and Corbeau Sandoval
Dawson College Theatre program graduates (from left to right), Audrey-Shana Ferus, Valerie Boisvert, Bryan Ku, and Corbeau Sandoval

“Honestly, landing this small project was an amazing first step. To see our mini production be received so warmly really gave us a boost of confidence. We think everyone got a good grasp of the problems they might face in the future, so we’re proud of our work,” said Bryan Ku.

The impact of these two productions spearheaded the breakout room session as students were tasked with designing solutions to the conflicts seen as well as making links to the health care system. Amber Pan, a third-year Biomedical Laboratory Technology student said, “It was exciting to be part of the first ever interprofessional education symposium!” Amber continued “I found it very interesting to meet people from other healthcare disciplines especially because we will be coworkers and in the bigger picture will be working together to help give patients the highest quality care.” In addition, Amber commented on the impact of the interactions “After discussing the breakout room topics, it’s clear our disciplines have more similarities than differences”.

Yaffa Elling, Social Service teacher said, “I am very grateful for the students having this opportunity. Many said it was eye opening to see how other disciplines might handle these situations and helped some certainly understand their role in using their skills to help teams figure out ways to deal with conflict/ clients in a group process way.”

Along with the play productions and break-out rooms, guest speakers Rachel Deutsch and Marie-Eve Dufour (both Social Service faculty) provided the students with the necessary information on conflict resolution and collective competence and collective care. “I truly enjoyed the interprofessional day at Dawson. It was very interesting to see all the health care professionals come together and talk about their roles in the health care system” said Brittany Isenberg, a third-year nursing student. “Listening to everyone discuss their successes and their hardships throughout their programs was touching. Although we are all different, we are also the same. I loved the support, encouragement, and positivity we gave each other. I hope I have the opportunity to work with these wonderful human beings.”

In addition, working with the Creative Collective for Change ECQ project, spearheaded by Kim Simard and Patricia Romano, was a winning step in attempting to consolidate the symposium’s objectives into a sense of critical hope. The students walked away with a sense that conflict will happen, but the common approach of critical hope will provide a clear path to solutions and change. Kim Simard, Cinema-Communications, said, “what an incredibly energetic and engaged group we encountered at the IPE symposium. Many students and faculty there seemed illuminated by interdisciplinary discourse and the importance of nurturing a collective vision for the future of health and care. Concluding the day with a proposal to work towards developing a collective care manifesto seemed like a fitting activity as students contemplate their roles as change makers after graduation. Let’s hope this is just the beginning of a fruitful partnership between CC4C and IPE that inspires all future graduates.”

Overall, the day was a great success. Julia Lijeron, Pedagogical Counsellor from OAD, best summarized it as follows “…. connections and acquaintances were made. Learning happened. Students were engaged and I believe it was an impactful and memorable day for them. Personally, I was left with a feeling of hopefulness. These students will go into the workplace with a different perspective than those before them. They will likely treat each other with more respect, and appreciate each other’s contribution to the healthcare system, in a different way.”

To hear more from students and teachers who participated in the symposium, please click on the following link to listen to our podcast episode where we dive deeper and discuss the impact of the symposium and of IPE:

Symposium podcast

IPE moving forward

After a successful semester of a plethora of new activities, the majority of the feedback has been the same. “Everyone wants want more” says Alfi Riffat Mahbub, Nursing teacher. “IPE has been an eye-opening opportunity and we see the benefits of it so why not introduce it more often? I think it creates a better bond within the program, it creates a stronger health discipline, and it makes Dawson stronger. IPE activities create an environment that engages learners. It’s been proven that people learn better from each other through peer learning. For me, it would be to include more peer learning through more IPE learning opportunities for the students.”

Last Modified: November 30, 2022