In ISPEs, second-year pharmacy students team with a second-year Medical School Duluth student, two fourth-year St. Scholastica Nursing students, and a fourth-year St. Scholastica social work student or a UMD Master of Social Work student to: 1) perform a comprehensive patient assessment; 2) be patient-centered, empathetic and sensitive to patients’ cultural and personal needs; 3) identify drug therapy problems; 4) develop individualized, culturally and clinically appropriate care plans; and 5) communicate effectively with all patients, their families, and other health care providers.
The expectation is that each student will participate in one IPSE over the course of the academic year as a required component linked to one course in each of the professional programs. For Pharmacy students, the ISPE is considered part of their Pharmaceutical Care Skills III or IV course (depending upon the semester during which the student participates).
The cases used in the ISPEs have been designed to have a large component of social, environmental, and mental health components. Each case needs to be complex enough for each profession to quickly identify their role in the patient’s care. None of the cases are designed to have straightforward solutions for a clinical problem. Rather, each of the patients has layers of complexity; as the students probe deeper for details, they discover that the initial presenting complaint is merely the superficial layer. For example, only upon in-depth questioning of the patient do students discover that the woman presenting with a sore shoulder is actually a victim of domestic abuse. Likewise, the patient coming in for a cat bite is also homeless with a history of bipolar disease that is currently untreated, and the HIV patient is currently having unprotected intercourse with his female partner who does not know about his HIV status. Suddenly, these cases embark into areas in which many students may feel uncomfortable. The students begin to learn how to approach patients who are in a delicate emotional state. It also helps to bring the students together as a team, because in most cases each student is encountering these types of scenarios for the first time.