<p>Nursing, pharmacy, and social work students from the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College will join medical students at the Alpert Medical School Nov. 28 for workshops in which they will learn and practice how to work as a comprehensive team of caregivers.</p>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The concept of helping patients through a coordinated team effort is a major change coming to health care. This Wednesday Nov. 28, more than 400 students aspiring to join four health professions at three Rhode Island schools will learn and practice how to be part of such teams.

At the fifth annual interprofessional workshop. nursing, pharmacy, and social work students from the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College will join students from the Alpert Medical School not only to discuss paper cases of emphysema and asthma but also to work in person with actors playing patients with pneumonia. Social work students, who focus on issues such as medication costs and no insurance, will join for the first time this year.

“As health care becomes increasingly more complex, health care professionals can no longer work independently,” said Dr. Paul George, director of the second-year curriculum at the Alpert Medical School. “Instead, exceptional patient outcomes depend on teams of healthcare professionals working together and addressing the multifaceted causes of diseases.

“There are studies showing students want exposure to interprofessional education early on in their training so that when they are truly responsible for patient care, they can work seamlessly with other health professionals,” George said. “We hope this event will impact the health care of people in Rhode Island and beyond.”

Students are split into two three-hour waves of 200 or more The first group starts at 8:30 a.m. The second at 1:30 p.m.

Alpert Medical School education building, 222 Richmond St., Providence.

According to George: “The students use paper-based cases in the academy room in the medical school to teach each other. In addition, these students together (one nursing student, one pharmacy student, one medical student) take part in a standardized patient encounter (an actor portraying a real patient). Together, students are asked to take a history, perform a physical examination, diagnose and treat this standardized patient with ‘pneumonia.’ The standardized patient portion of this event takes place in the clinical skills suite. This part of the event certainly provides opportunity for photos.”

Journalists may attend by contacting David Orenstein at 401-863-1862 or by e-mail. George is available for interviews before, during, and after the workshop.