Almost 40 VA Bedford Healthcare System staff from Geriatrics, Urgent Care and the Gloucester VA Clinic attended the Nurse-Doctor Co-Teaching program, offered virtually in September by Harvard Medical School.
The nurse-doctor co-teaching program seeks to dismantle hierarchies and promote unique expertise of multidisciplinary teams by pairing staff nurses with attending physicians to co-lead educational sessions on various clinical topics for residents and other interested staff.
Upon hearing about the interest from VA Bedford, course director Professor Helen Shields said, “I hope to fulfill participants’ goals and inspire them and give them the tool kit of techniques to collaborate… in teaching together on rounds, in classrooms and at conferences locally and nationally.”
Course helps increase nurse-physician collaboration
As a result of the program, VA Bedford is exploring the feasibility of identifying Nurse-Doctor Co-Teaching champions from amongst the Bedford attendees.
“We do this in order to leverage the employee engagement and decrease disciplinary silos that might have resulted from knowledge gained and increase nursing and physician collaboration and education across the facility,” said Dr. Jim L. Meisel, VA Bedford associate chief of staff for Education.
Nurse-Doctor Co-Teaching is a unique course aimed at nurses and physicians who wish to learn how to use the knowledge and skills of both disciplines to collaboratively teach.
Participants came away from the course with practical methods to start a Nurse-Doctor Co-Teaching initiative. They were given toolkits of interactive teaching techniques to make these educational sessions engaging, active and high-yield.
The VA staff chose from multiple breakout sessions where they experienced Nurse-Doctor Co-Teaching teams in action and observed how they successfully led their sessions. They also had the opportunity to ask questions of the panel of experts who created the highly-regarded Nurse-Doctor Co-Teaching Initiative at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Bedford VA trains providers and conducts important research
Final enrollment count was 89 nurse and doctor participants from across New England and many other U.S. states, as well as Ireland and Australia.
Bedford VA provides Veterans with outstanding health care, trains America’s future health care providers, and conducts important medical research at four locations in Middlesex and Essex counties in Massachusetts.
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